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December 1968 Snow Totals


Doiinko
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I was scrolling through some old threads here and someone mentioned this tool: http://xmacis.rcc-acis.org/, and I decided to play around with it for a bit. One month I was interested in was December 1968 because of the 14/6 day at PDX and big snowstorm! I know January 1969 was snowier in most places though. So here are some totals around the lowlands in the NWS Portland forecasting area with elevation. The problem is some of these probably didn't report snow that well so I tried to only pick ones that seemed reasonable:

Headworks Portland Water: 22.5" (Elevation 748ft)

Timber: 21.5" (Elevation: 942ft)

Portland Mount Scott: 20.5" (Elevation: 1015ft) - This one is not from the website but from the COOP forms instead

Bethany: 18.7" (Elevation: 259ft) - This one is not from the website but from the COOP forms instead

Cherry Grove 2 S: 18.5" (Elevation 781ft)

Hood River: 18.6" (Elevation 500ft)

Dallas 2 NE: 17.5" (Elevation 17.5ft)

Battle Ground: 17.0" (Elevation 284ft)

Forest Grove: 17.0" (Elevation 180ft)

Estacada 2 SE: 16.8" (Elevation 514ft)

PDX: 15.7" (Elevation 22ft) 

Oregon City: 13.6" (Elevation 167ft)

Hillsboro: 13.1" (Elevation 160ft)

Salem: 12.6" (Elevation 208ft)

Molalla: 12.3" (Elevation 400ft)

Downtown Portland: 10.1" (Elevation 30ft)

Silverton: 8.5" (Elevation 408ft)

I left out Longview (5"), Kelso (5"), Troutdale (2.5") since they didn't look right, but I'm not completely sure. Maybe the Mount Scott and Timber ones are a bit low because those totals at around ~1000 ft aren't much more than stations at 250ft? I'm not completely sure though. I thought I would share these totals though because that month looks impressive, snowiest December besides 2008 at PDX!

 



 

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Location: Bethany, OR at about 250'

Snowfall:

     2021/2022: 6"

     2020/2021: 4.5"

     2019/2020: 1"

     2018/2019: 3.7"

     2017/2018: 5.5"

     2016/2017: 18"

     2015/2016: 1"

     2014/2015: 0"

     2013/2014: 9"

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1 hour ago, Doiinko said:

I was scrolling through some old threads here and someone mentioned this tool: http://xmacis.rcc-acis.org/, and I decided to play around with it for a bit. One month I was interested in was December 1968 because of the 14/6 day at PDX and big snowstorm! I know January 1969 was snowier in most places though. So here are some totals around the lowlands in the NWS Portland forecasting area with elevation. The problem is some of these probably didn't report snow that well so I tried to only pick ones that seemed reasonable:

Headworks Portland Water: 22.5" (Elevation 748ft)

Timber: 21.5" (Elevation: 942ft)

Portland Mount Scott: 20.5" (Elevation: 1015ft) - This one is not from the website but from the COOP forms instead

Bethany: 18.7" (Elevation: 259ft) - This one is not from the website but from the COOP forms instead

Cherry Grove 2 S: 18.5" (Elevation 781ft)

Hood River: 18.6" (Elevation 500ft)

Dallas 2 NE: 17.5" (Elevation 17.5ft)

Battle Ground: 17.0" (Elevation 284ft)

Forest Grove: 17.0" (Elevation 180ft)

Estacada 2 SE: 16.8" (Elevation 514ft)

PDX: 15.7" (Elevation 22ft) 

Oregon City: 13.6" (Elevation 167ft)

Hillsboro: 13.1" (Elevation 160ft)

Salem: 12.6" (Elevation 208ft)

Molalla: 12.3" (Elevation 400ft)

Downtown Portland: 10.1" (Elevation 30ft)

Silverton: 8.5" (Elevation 408ft)

I left out Longview (5"), Kelso (5"), Troutdale (2.5") since they didn't look right, but I'm not completely sure. Maybe the Mount Scott and Timber ones are a bit low because those totals at around ~1000 ft aren't much more than stations at 250ft? I'm not completely sure though. I thought I would share these totals though because that month looks impressive, snowiest December besides 2008 at PDX!

 



 

Well Timber had 95.5" of snow the next month so maybe the pattern wasn't that favorable in that area compared to areas in lower elevations.

Location: Bethany, OR at about 250'

Snowfall:

     2021/2022: 6"

     2020/2021: 4.5"

     2019/2020: 1"

     2018/2019: 3.7"

     2017/2018: 5.5"

     2016/2017: 18"

     2015/2016: 1"

     2014/2015: 0"

     2013/2014: 9"

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  • Longtimer

Good stuff. 

Snowfall                                  Precip

2021-22: 52.6"                    2021-22: 82.13" 

2020-21: 12.0"                    2020-21: 71.59"

2019-20: 23.5"                   2019-20: 58.54"

2018-19: 63.5"                   2018-19: 66.33"

2017-18: 30.3"                   2017-18: 59.83"

2016-17: 49.2"                   2016-17: 97.58"

2015-16: 11.75"                 2015-16: 68.67"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"                  2013-14: 62.30
2012-13: 16.75"                 2012-13: 78.45  

2011-12: 98.5"                   2011-12: 92.67"

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 

 

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  • Longtimer
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Doiinko said:

Well Timber had 95.5" of snow the next month so maybe the pattern wasn't that favorable in that area compared to areas in lower elevations.

Lots more cold onshore flow in January 1969.  A lot of 500' snow levels during the middle stretch of that month before the arctic air broke back through starting around the 20th. 

December 1968 had a variety of setups too, though. There was an anafront snowfall on the 4th to open the winter up, a modified continental front on the 18th-19th, the ensuing overrunning snowfall on the 22nd, and then a bit of cold onshore flow on the 27th ahead of the low level arctic front that produced most of the snow from the 28th-31st as it sat and then slowly retreated over NW OR.

A lot of different days with snow that winter, in other words.

Edited by BLI snowman
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11 minutes ago, BLI snowman said:

Lots more cold onshore flow in January 1969.  A lot of 500' snow levels during the middle stretch of that month before the arctic air broke back through starting around the 20th. 

December 1968 had a variety of setups too, though. There was an anafront snowfall on the 4th to open the winter up, a modified continental front on the 18th-19th, the ensuing overrunning snowfall on the 22nd, and then a bit of cold onshore flow on the 27th ahead of the low level arctic front that produced most of the snow from the 28th-31st as it sat and then slowly retreated over NW OR.

A lot of different days with snow that winter, in other words.

Oh okay that makes more sense now. About the event on the 28th-31st, it seems like there was some ice on the 31st and warming up in the west metro at least going by hourly data and remarks from the Bethany station and 1/4" of ice after the blizzard. I was wondering how significant did ice accumulations get around the metro area and valley?

Also I just wanted to thank you for being so helpful with a lot of information. Being new it's really helped me learn a lot. 

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Location: Bethany, OR at about 250'

Snowfall:

     2021/2022: 6"

     2020/2021: 4.5"

     2019/2020: 1"

     2018/2019: 3.7"

     2017/2018: 5.5"

     2016/2017: 18"

     2015/2016: 1"

     2014/2015: 0"

     2013/2014: 9"

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Just now, Doiinko said:

Oh okay that makes more sense now. About the event on the 28th-31st, it seems like there was some ice on the 31st and warming up in the west metro at least going by hourly data and remarks from the Bethany station and 1/4" of ice after the blizzard. I was wondering how significant did ice accumulations get around the metro area and valley?

Also I just wanted to thank you for being so helpful with a lot of information. Being new it's really helped me learn a lot. 

Here are the hourly temps from the 29th to the 31st. Looks like the temps were 28/12, 12/8, and 31/9. PDX only had a high of 19 on the 31st so I think the south wind took over here.image.png.34b361e9eac92008dc8b23e456180367.png
Nice that this station kept hourly data and detailed comments such as how much snow is in the hills during some 500' snow events.

Location: Bethany, OR at about 250'

Snowfall:

     2021/2022: 6"

     2020/2021: 4.5"

     2019/2020: 1"

     2018/2019: 3.7"

     2017/2018: 5.5"

     2016/2017: 18"

     2015/2016: 1"

     2014/2015: 0"

     2013/2014: 9"

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  • Longtimer
4 minutes ago, Doiinko said:

Oh okay that makes more sense now. About the event on the 28th-31st, it seems like there was some ice on the 31st and warming up in the west metro at least going by hourly data and remarks from the Bethany station and 1/4" of ice after the blizzard. I was wondering how significant did ice accumulations get around the metro area and valley?

Also I just wanted to thank you for being so helpful with a lot of information. Being new it's really helped me learn a lot. 

A lot of that in Portland/Vancouver at least fell as sleet on the 31st, transitioning that morning. I think the sleet accumulated a few inches on top of the big snowpack. We don't get huge sleet storms very often so that was a testament to how deep that low level cold air pool was by that point to support it despite the warming southerlies aloft.  A little news caption commenting on the inversion that was setting up by that point.

image.png

I think freezing rain accumulations reached 1/2" or so around most of Portland-Vancouver, with a little less on the westside. Not quite as significant of icing as the January 1950, January 1979, or January 2004 ice storms but still among our bigger ones in the last 80 years.

Down in the valley the southerlies warmed things up pretty quickly and that event was over by the evening of the 31st. Salem was at 40 by 8pm.

https://www.wunderground.com/history/daily/us/or/eugene/ksle/date/1968-12-31

 

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4 minutes ago, BLI snowman said:

A lot of that in Portland/Vancouver at least fell as sleet on the 31st, transitioning that morning. I think the sleet accumulated a few inches on top of the big snowpack. We don't get huge sleet storms very often so that was a testament to how deep that low level cold air pool was by that point to support it despite the warming southerlies aloft.  A little news caption commenting on the inversion that was setting up by that point.

image.png

I think freezing rain accumulations reached 1/2" or so around most of Portland-Vancouver, with a little less on the westside. Not quite as significant of icing as the January 1950, January 1979, or January 2004 ice storms but still among our bigger ones in the last 80 years.

Down in the valley the southerlies warmed things up pretty quickly and that event was over by the evening of the 31st. Salem was at 40 by 8pm.

https://www.wunderground.com/history/daily/us/or/eugene/ksle/date/1968-12-31

 

It doesn't look like a Feb 2021, Jan 1998 or 1980 type event where the west metro got barely anything and a lot of ice while the east/north metro got a ton of snow, the Bethany station recorded 11.6" of snow and 0.25" of ice with that storm and PDX 13.7" so not much of a difference.
Early 1969 was mild in Eugene! 3 days in a row in the 60s. Of course they made up for that with the snow late in the month

Location: Bethany, OR at about 250'

Snowfall:

     2021/2022: 6"

     2020/2021: 4.5"

     2019/2020: 1"

     2018/2019: 3.7"

     2017/2018: 5.5"

     2016/2017: 18"

     2015/2016: 1"

     2014/2015: 0"

     2013/2014: 9"

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  • Longtimer
Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Doiinko said:

It doesn't look like a Feb 2021, Jan 1998 or 1980 type event where the west metro got barely anything and a lot of ice while the east/north metro got a ton of snow, the Bethany station recorded 11.6" of snow and 0.25" of ice with that storm and PDX 13.7" so not much of a difference.
Early 1969 was mild in Eugene! 3 days in a row in the 60s. Of course they made up for that with the snow late in the month

No, the arctic air in 1968 was a different beast and had a lot more bite to it than with any of those so the snow was much more spread out, with the upper level column supporting snow all the way down to Medford.

Edited by BLI snowman
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1 minute ago, BLI snowman said:

No, the arctic air in 1968 was a different beast and had a lot more bite to it than with any of those so the snow was much more spread out, with the upper level column supporting snow all the way down to Medford.

Oh, that makes more sense, thanks.
Would the storm on the 28th-31st officially warrant a blizzard warning in some places? At least the Bethany station recorded a sustained wind speed of 30mph from the NE for 3 hours so I would assume that frequent gusts to 35 or higher happened. The station did also record a sustained wind of 31mph from the NE for three hours in the January 1969 storm as well, so would that count as a blizzard as well? If Bethany in the west metro recorded those speeds, the wind in Troutdale and the Gorge must have been crazy.

Location: Bethany, OR at about 250'

Snowfall:

     2021/2022: 6"

     2020/2021: 4.5"

     2019/2020: 1"

     2018/2019: 3.7"

     2017/2018: 5.5"

     2016/2017: 18"

     2015/2016: 1"

     2014/2015: 0"

     2013/2014: 9"

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  • Longtimer
2 minutes ago, Doiinko said:

Oh, that makes more sense, thanks.
Would the storm on the 28th-31st officially warrant a blizzard warning in some places? At least the Bethany station recorded a sustained wind speed of 30mph from the NE for 3 hours so I would assume that frequent gusts to 35 or higher happened. The station did also record a sustained wind of 31mph from the NE for three hours in the January 1969 storm as well, so would that count as a blizzard as well? If Bethany in the west metro recorded those speeds, the wind in Troutdale and the Gorge must have been crazy.

Blizzards are usually defined as 3+ hours of >35mph gusts and <0.25 mile visibility. So I'd say that it counts!!

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Just now, BLI snowman said:

Blizzards are usually defined as 3+ hours of >35mph gusts and <0.25 mile visibility. So I'd say that it counts!!

Interestingly PDX was less windy than the Bethany station during the December 1968 storm so I'm guessing it has to do with the topography here.

Also it looks like the January 1969 winds were strongest before it started snowing. The remarks for that day "Strong E wind eve. Cold clr"

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Location: Bethany, OR at about 250'

Snowfall:

     2021/2022: 6"

     2020/2021: 4.5"

     2019/2020: 1"

     2018/2019: 3.7"

     2017/2018: 5.5"

     2016/2017: 18"

     2015/2016: 1"

     2014/2015: 0"

     2013/2014: 9"

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On 8/26/2022 at 10:05 PM, BLI snowman said:

Blizzards are usually defined as 3+ hours of >35mph gusts and <0.25 mile visibility. So I'd say that it counts!!

Interestingly looking at the records 1/28/1968 got quite close to that as well, a sustained wind speed of 26.7 mph for three hours would probably produce frequent gusts over 35 mph I'd guess. But that might've just been due to terrain enhancement from the West Hills I'm guessing.

Location: Bethany, OR at about 250'

Snowfall:

     2021/2022: 6"

     2020/2021: 4.5"

     2019/2020: 1"

     2018/2019: 3.7"

     2017/2018: 5.5"

     2016/2017: 18"

     2015/2016: 1"

     2014/2015: 0"

     2013/2014: 9"

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  • Longtimer
9 hours ago, Doiinko said:

Interestingly looking at the records 1/28/1968 got quite close to that as well, a sustained wind speed of 26.7 mph for three hours would probably produce frequent gusts over 35 mph I'd guess. But that might've just been due to terrain enhancement from the West Hills I'm guessing.

Blizzard conditions really aren't too uncommon for the windier parts of the metro area. Obviously Troutdale is in the lead with that but many of the bigger snowstorms over the years have had either legit blizzard conditions or close shaves in parts of Portland and perhaps your area as well.

I'm pretty happy that I live in an area that is much less exposed to the easterlies. I find whipping snow to be more of an annoyance than anything. My area still tends to benefit from the residual gorge refrigeration effect but east winds over 15-20mph are rare and our snowstorms tend to accumulate much more "cleanly" on everything.

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32 minutes ago, BLI snowman said:

Blizzard conditions really aren't too uncommon for the windier parts of the metro area. Obviously Troutdale is in the lead with that but many of the bigger snowstorms over the years have had either legit blizzard conditions or close shaves in parts of Portland and perhaps your area as well.

I'm pretty happy that I live in an area that is much less exposed to the easterlies. I find whipping snow to be more of an annoyance than anything. My area still tends to benefit from the residual gorge refrigeration effect but east winds over 15-20mph are rare and our snowstorms tend to accumulate much more "cleanly" on everything.

Yeah I haven't had a really clean big snowstorm living here. January 2017 was huge but the snow drifted far into undercover parts of my yard and all over the place. I don't remember an example of the east wind hampering my totals though. I remember the WRF-GFS also forecasting 35-45mph east wind gusts in February 2021 here, and I'm guessing February 2014 was close to blizzard conditions too. The wind can be fun when the snow is falling and blowing all over the place but sometimes it's a bit too much.

How much snow did your area and areas in Clark County get during the winter of 2016/17? I think almost every snow event for me was super windy and not really any clean accumulations, I ended up with around 18" of snow.

Location: Bethany, OR at about 250'

Snowfall:

     2021/2022: 6"

     2020/2021: 4.5"

     2019/2020: 1"

     2018/2019: 3.7"

     2017/2018: 5.5"

     2016/2017: 18"

     2015/2016: 1"

     2014/2015: 0"

     2013/2014: 9"

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  • Longtimer
1 hour ago, Doiinko said:

Yeah I haven't had a really clean big snowstorm living here. January 2017 was huge but the snow drifted far into undercover parts of my yard and all over the place. I don't remember an example of the east wind hampering my totals though. I remember the WRF-GFS also forecasting 35-45mph east wind gusts in February 2021 here, and I'm guessing February 2014 was close to blizzard conditions too. The wind can be fun when the snow is falling and blowing all over the place but sometimes it's a bit too much.

How much snow did your area and areas in Clark County get during the winter of 2016/17? I think almost every snow event for me was super windy and not really any clean accumulations, I ended up with around 18" of snow.

We had around 18" here in 2016-17, so pretty identical. About 1.5" on 12/8, 2.8" on 12/14, 0.5" on 12/19, 0.3" on 12/31, 0.3" on 1/7, and around 12.5" on 1/10-1/11. Nothing measurable in February or March in spite of a number of days that featured falling snow.

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On 8/30/2022 at 10:18 PM, BLI snowman said:

We had around 18" here in 2016-17, so pretty identical. About 1.5" on 12/8, 2.8" on 12/14, 0.5" on 12/19, 0.3" on 12/31, 0.3" on 1/7, and around 12.5" on 1/10-1/11. Nothing measurable in February or March in spite of a number of days that featured falling snow.

You guys did great that winter.  Needless to say Seattle has evened the score since though.  That having been said missing out on that great January really stung here.  It was pretty cold here, but nothing like what you had.

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Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2022-23 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0

Coldest Low = 42

Lows 32 or below = 0

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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7 hours ago, snow_wizard said:

You guys did great that winter.  Needless to say Seattle has evened the score since though.  That having been said missing out on that great January really stung here.  It was pretty cold here, but nothing like what you had.

I think 18" was on the high end in the Portland area below 500' though. The first 16 days of that month were amazing. Snow to start the month, arctic blast and then a snow/ice event and strong wind, and then the big snowstorm on the 10th/11. Hillsboro dropped to 3 degrees! I think PDX ended up averaging 33.5 degrees.

Location: Bethany, OR at about 250'

Snowfall:

     2021/2022: 6"

     2020/2021: 4.5"

     2019/2020: 1"

     2018/2019: 3.7"

     2017/2018: 5.5"

     2016/2017: 18"

     2015/2016: 1"

     2014/2015: 0"

     2013/2014: 9"

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Gonna have some 95/42 type spreads in isolated areas in the OLY-PDX corridor.

Weather stats for MBY

Snowfall:

-Total snowfall since joining: 45.25"

-2018-19: 21"

-2019-20: 2.5"

-2020-21: 13"

-2021-22: 8.75"

-Most recent snowfall: 0.25”; February 24th, 2022

-Largest snowfall (single storm): 8.5"; February 12-13, 2021

-Largest snow depth: 14"; 1:30am February 12th, 2019

Temperatures:

-Warmest: 109F; June 28th, 2021

-Coldest: 13F; December 27th, 2021

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