Winter Artic Snow Blast ’08

If you haven’t noticed, this story is unfolding just outside your door – and been on TV for the past week. Here’s our take on the situation …

Sledding down this East Portland hill was occasionally interrupted by folks who had to get out in their trucks to drive around during the height of the snow storm.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
We can’t ignore the weather – it interrupted Christmas plans for everyone in East Portland. Those that must work struggled to find a way to their place of employment. Schools, alternately open and closed as the weather changed by the hour, had to be maintained during the storm.

The snow was deep and beautiful, looking out behind the East Portland News and international headquarters in SE Portland.

The East Portland News Cruiser remains under feet of snow and ice during the worst of the storm.

Snowiest of Decembers
This winter storm didn’t bring the coldest weather on record, according to Charles Dalton meteorologist intern at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service is located in outer East Portland on NE 122nd Avenue, just south of NE Airport Way.

“Typically, we see temperatures in the low- to mid-40s,” Dalton told us today. “We were 10º to 15º below normal – quite a way from breaking any records.”

But the snowstorm that started on December 19 is a record-breaker, Dalton added. “From the 19th through the 25th, this is pretty much a 40 year event. This has been our snowiest December on record. It really compares to the deepest snowfall on record – the storm in January 1950 with 42” measured at the airport.

Your editor discovers that the East Portland News Weather Deck is snowed in!

Along with a break in the weather on Christmas Eve day came shoppers – hoards of them – whether or not they were equipped to drive in winter weather conditions.

White Christmas after all
Mother Nature gave forecasters the Bronx-cheer on Christmas Day.

Instead of balmy temperatures and warm rain to scour out the snow and ice still clinging to Portland area streets as predicted, fringed Arctic wind swept south, and then west through the Columbia Gorge midday, changing the rain into final blast of snow and sleet.

What are the forecasters saying about this week’s upcoming weather? Regardless when you read this, you can always get the up-to-date forecast from the National Weather Service for outer East Portland by CLICKING HERE. Or, enter the Zip Code at the top of the page to see the 7-day forecast for any location in the country.

The day after Christmas, most major highways and freeways were drivable. Side streets remained almost impassable.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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