Central Oregon Climate: Weather in the Shadow of the Cascades

Central Oregon, often referred to as a high desert or shrub-steppe region, offers a unique climate shaped by its geography. Nestled just east of the Cascade Mountains, the region experiences a rain shadow effect.

Image courtesy of Google Earth.

With the mountains just to the east blocking precipitation, the area receives very little rainfall and a lot of sunshine compared to other parts of the Beaver State. In fact, Bend, Oregon boasts the most sunshine annually in the entire state, making it the perfect place to call home for those who enjoy copious sunshine, seasonal beauty, and all-around pleasant weather.

Central Oregon Year-Round Weather

In Central Oregon, we enjoy warm summers and mild winters. Our winter temperatures average from the 20s to 40s, while summer days often reach the mid-80s. Annually, we receive up to 30 inches of precipitation, primarily as snow. This makes Central Oregon one of the regions with the most enjoyable climates in the country.

  • Average Sunny & Cloudy Days: Over 290 sunny days a year, including 150+ clear days and 105+ partly sunny days.
  • Average Temperature: Moderate days and cool nights, with summer peaks in the mid-80s and winter lows in the 20s.
  • Average Precipitation: Ranges from 10 to 30 inches annually, mostly as snow between November and February. Occasional summer thunderstorms bring brief, light rain.
  • Average Humidity: The low humidity in our high-desert climate makes even the hottest summer days comfortable without air conditioning.
  • Average Wind: Wind speeds average 5 to 7 MPH year-round, typically from the south to southeast in winter and west to northwest in other seasons.

High Desert Seasons in Central Oregon

Central Oregon experiences four distinct seasons. As time passes in the mid-state, each season unfolds with its own distinct charm and weather patterns.

Please note that the climate data presented here is for Bend. There are regional fluctuations. If you would like to check weather averages for a specific locale, the National Weather Service provides up-to-date information.


After the high desert thaws, spring brings rejuvenation to the land. You’ll see plenty of sunshine with occasional rain showers lasting through the end of May and sometimes into June. Temperatures typically range between 50ºF and 60ºF. Areas like the Ochoco Mountain foothills will see an enchanting wildflower bloom in spring and early summer.


  • Average high: 52ºF
  • Average low: 28ºF
  • Average rain: 0.7”
  • Average snowfall: 1.5”


  • Average high: 58ºF
  • Average low: 31ºF
  • Average rain: 0.8”
  • Average snowfall: 0.7”


  • Average high: 66ºF
  • Average low: 37ºF
  • Average rain: 1”
  • Average snowfall: 0”


Summertime in Central Oregon can come with some intense heat, and temperatures can easily exceed 100ºF. The highest temperature ever recorded in Bend was 107ºF on June 27, 2021. Not every day breaks the mercury, however, and there are plenty of pleasant warm and dry days.


  • Average high: 74ºF
  • Average low: 42ºF
  • Average rain: 0.7”
  • Average snowfall: 0” 


  • Average high: 84ºF
  • Average low: 49ºF
  • Average rain: 0.4”
  • Average snowfall: 0”


  • Average high: 83ºF
  • Average low: 48ºF
  • Average rainfall: 0.35”
  • Average snowfall: 0”


As you might expect, temperatures mellow out in the region during autumn. There’s still plenty of sun and plenty of warmth for the first part of fall. Mornings are often crisp, and afternoons can be breezy.


  • Average high: 76ºF
  • Average low: 41ºF
  • Average rainfall: 0.3”
  • Average snowfall: 0”


  • Average high: 63ºF
  • Average low: 34ºF
  • Average rainfall: 0.7”
  • Average snowfall: 0.2” 


  • Average high: 49ºF
  • Average low: 28ºF
  • Average rainfall: 1.3”
  • Average snowfall: 2”


Central Oregon’s winters are chilly, but not unbearably cold. Snowfall can vary a lot from year to year, but we certainly don’t receive as much snowfall as the Cascades to the east. 


  • Average high: 41ºF
  • Average low: 23ºF
  • Average rainfall: 2”
  • Average snowfall: 5.3”


  • Average high: 42ºF
  • Average low: 25ºF
  • Average rain: 1.4”
  • Average snowfall: 6.4”


  • Average high: 46ºF
  • Average low: 24ºF
  • Average rain: 1”
  • Average snowfall: 5.5”

The Best Time to Visit Central Oregon

Like many places across the Pacific Northwest, summer is one of the best times to visit Central Oregon. June through September bring our best weather, our sunniest days, and everything you’d want to see or do for the most part is open.

Outdoor enthusiasts travel to Central Oregon from all corners of North America to take part in hiking, kayaking, fly fishing, rock climbing, and much, much more. Deschutes County offers so much to do outdoors, it’s amazing anybody stays inside during a Central Oregon summer.

Local Resources for Central Oregon Weather Forecasts

New Era Homes recommends the following local resources for live weather forecasts and more information:

Discover Why We Love Central Oregon’s Climate

New Era Homes knows Central Oregon is beautiful and the weather is perfect. We also know how to build homes that stand up to the test of time and anything Oregon throws at them.

Are you considering moving or retiring to Central Oregon? Contact New Era Homes today and find out how we can support life’s next best adventure with the custom home of your dreams.

More Common Questions About Central Oregon’s Climate

Does Central Oregon get tornadoes?

The whole state of Oregon averages up to three tornadoes annually. Often, Oregon sees no tornadoes in a calendar year. Tornado Project Online has a great list to give you more information broken down by county here.

What is the coldest month in Central Oregon?

December is typically the coldest month in Central Oregon with the temperature dipping into the low-20s and staying there for days.

What’s the hottest month?

At 84ºF, July has the highest average temperature of any month in Central Oregon. 

How many inches of snow does Central Oregon get?

Central Oregon gets between 3” and 30” of snow annually — just depends on how unlucky we get.