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On This Day In History...Major Weather Events in the PNW or West


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December 18 is among our very most likely dates to see measurable snowfall. Lots of action.

 

A historic 3 day snow and sleetstorm wrapped up on this day in 1884. Downtown Portland measured 22.3" of snow between the 16th-18th with another 1/2"-1" of sleet and freezing rain falling with that. Other reports indicated 15-20" near Albany, Olympia, and Seattle with this storm. A passenger train with 148 people near The Dalles was stranded for several days in this storm as at least 3 feet of snow fell in the eastern gorge, a rescue team had to work their way down the river to get to them and dig them out.

 

A significant winter storm from Portland to Seattle on this date in 1955, setting up a historic atmospheric river with devastating flooding in OR/CA. 1-2" of snow fell around Portland with 1/2"-3/4" of freezing rain, Olympia airport had an impressive December calendar day record with 10.2" of snow, and the Seattle area generally had 4-6" of snowfall.

 

On this date in 1990, the great convergence zone dump began during the Seattle evening commute as a major arctic front rolled in. 8-12" of snow, often accompanied by thunder/lightning, fell in a period of just a few hours across much of the central Seattle and Bellevue areas, totally crippling the evening rush hour. The band faded just north of SEA, where only 2.5" fell. Elsewhere, 1-3" generally impacted the entirety of western OR/WA as the front slid southward during the overnight hours.

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I just want to say thank you to Demitri, Justin, Jim, and all others who are contributing to this thread. I’m learning a ton of fascinating information.

Incredible low level Fraser River push on this day in 1985. SEA had a midnight high of 35 and temps quickly tumbled as the front moved in, with a daytime high of just 21. To the north, near all time r

An even more impressive PNW severe event occurred on June 2-3, 1894, also during the midst of the most severe flood event on record in Portland.   As with our other severe events, a strong marine push

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I appreciate that stretch more as the years go by. Real old-school throwback. 

 

Would have been nice if that was the beginning of a muti-decadal shift (many believed it was at the time). But the greatest spell of regional warmth since the late 1930s/early 1940s in 2014-16 kind of put the kibosh on that.

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December 18 is among our very most likely dates to see measurable snowfall. Lots of action.

 

A historic 3 day snow and sleetstorm wrapped up on this day in 1884. Downtown Portland measured 22.3" of snow between the 16th-18th with another 1/2"-1" of sleet and freezing rain falling with that. Other reports indicated 15-20" near Albany, Olympia, and Seattle with this storm. A passenger train with 148 people near The Dalles was stranded for several days in this storm as at least 3 feet of snow fell in the eastern gorge, a rescue team had to work their way down the river to get to them and dig them out.

 

 

 

I have records for Tacoma for 1884 and they had approximately 16 inches of snow for the 18th - 20th.  December 1884 was a dandy to say the least.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 7.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 5

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 23

Lows 32 or below = 35

Highs 32 or below = 2

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 5

 

 

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December 18 is among our very most likely dates to see measurable snowfall. Lots of action.

 

A historic 3 day snow and sleetstorm wrapped up on this day in 1884. Downtown Portland measured 22.3" of snow between the 16th-18th with another 1/2"-1" of sleet and freezing rain falling with that. Other reports indicated 15-20" near Albany, Olympia, and Seattle with this storm. A passenger train with 148 people near The Dalles was stranded for several days in this storm as at least 3 feet of snow fell in the eastern gorge, a rescue team had to work their way down the river to get to them and dig them out.

 

A significant winter storm from Portland to Seattle on this date in 1955, setting up a historic atmospheric river with devastating flooding in OR/CA. 1-2" of snow fell around Portland with 1/2"-3/4" of freezing rain, Olympia airport had an impressive December calendar day record with 10.2" of snow, and the Seattle area generally had 4-6" of snowfall.

 

On this date in 1990, the great convergence zone dump began during the Seattle evening commute as a major arctic front rolled in. 8-12" of snow, often accompanied by thunder/lightning, fell in a period of just a few hours across much of the central Seattle and Bellevue areas, totally crippling the evening rush hour. The band faded just north of SEA, where only 2.5" fell. Elsewhere, 1-3" generally impacted the entirety of western OR/WA as the front slid southward during the overnight hours.

 

December 1884 was incredible. I've read about reports of 3 feet in the Eugene area and 40" in Copalis on the WA coast. The signal service records from Eola (500' ASL) show 22" on the 16th followed by 15" on the 17th. A storm total of 53.8" from the 16th-22nd, and a monthly total of 60.8". The Albany signal service station picked up 19" on the 16th-17th.

 

EDIT: Fixed dates.

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100 years ago:

 

December 1917. Wet and mild month in the PNW while unprecedented cold held a vice grip on Alaska and the Yukon.

 

The month averaged -51.3 at Dawson City, -48.4 at Fort Yukon, and -45.8 at Eagle. These numbers have not been approached since.

 

Down here, a juicy pineapple express affected the PNW on the 18th-19th. 4.40" of rain fell at Cedar Lake on the 18th, on the way to a gargantuan monthly total of 47.10" (single month record). On the 19th, 3.65" fell at Estacada (single day record for Dec), on the way to a monthly-record total of 22.03". Very mild air prevailed as well. Temperatures spiked to 71 at Kennewick on the 18th, within 3F of the WA state record for December. A low of 51 was recorded at Spokane on the same date, which is second only to a 52 degree minimum in December 1980.

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100 years ago:

 

December 1917. Wet and mild month in the PNW while unprecedented cold held a vice grip on Alaska and the Yukon.

 

The month averaged -51.3 at Dawson City, -48.4 at Fort Yukon, and -45.8 at Eagle. These numbers have not been approached since.

 

Down here, a juicy pineapple express affected the PNW on the 18th-19th. 4.40" of rain fell at Cedar Lake on the 18th, on the way to a gargantuan monthly total of 47.10" (single month record). On the 19th, 3.65" fell at Estacada (single day record for Dec), on the way to monthly-record total of 22.03". Very mild air prevailed as well. Temperatures spiked to 71 at Kennewick on the 18th, within 3F of the WA state record for December. A low of 51 was recorded at Spokane on the same date, which is second only to a 52 degree minimum in December 1980.

 

That's some Antarctica stuff right there. 1917-18 was also ridiculous across the East.

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On this date in 2008 Silver Falls set their record min/max with a high of 29. They also picked up 4" of snow that day to set the daily snowfall record. 

 

The record low was 13 in 1948. 

 

From here through the rest of the month the records get a lot more interesting. 

 

Christmas Day's record low is a surprisingly mild 21 set in 1948, a couple days ago that looked like a lock to fall. 

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 10.5"                        2020-21: 52.02"

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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That's some Antarctica stuff right there. 1917-18 was also ridiculous across the East.

 

I'm aware of at least 3 separate cold waves that produced all-time record cold east of the Rockies. Around Dec. 9th-10th on the Plains, late December in the East ("great World War I cold wave"), and around Jan. 10th-12th across the Plains/Midwest/South. That winter brought -13 to NYC and -8 to Memphis. Memorable. 

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I'm aware of at least 3 separate cold waves that produced all-time record cold east of the Rockies. Around Dec. 9th-10th on the Plains, late December in the East ("great World War I cold wave"), and around Jan. 10th-12th across the Plains/Midwest/South. That winter brought -13 to NYC and -8 to Memphis. Memorable. 

 

And we almost totally missed out, save for one brief arctic airmass and overrunning snowstorm at the beginning of February.

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And we almost totally missed out, save for one brief arctic airmass and overrunning snowstorm at the beginning of February.

 

That was a very decent event for the Portland area. Also a better showing than anything in 1933-34, the continental-scale doppelganger of 1917-18. 

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12-20-08 was a great day.

The last one you could truly say was a region-wide blizzard.

Springfield, Oregon cold season 20-21 Stats:

  • Coldest high: 38F (Nov 21)
  • Coldest low: 23F (Oct 26)
  • Days with below freezing temps: 36 (Most recent: Feb 24, 2021)
  • Days with sub-40F highs: 3 (Most recent: Dec 24)
  • Total snowfall: 0.0"
  • Last accumulating snowfall: February 27, 2019
  • Last sub-freezing high: Jan 14, 2017 (31F)
  • Last White Christmas: 1990
  • Significant wind events (gusts 45+): 0

Personal Stats:

  • Last accumulating snowfall: February 27, 2019
  • Last sub-freezing high: Jan 14, 2017 (31)
  • Last White Christmas: 2008
  • Total snowfall since joining TheWeatherForums: 20.7"

GoFundMe: www.gofundme.com/CollegeBasketballvsEpilepsy

My Twitter @357jerseys4hope

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The last one you could truly say was a region-wide blizzard.

 

I was living and working in Silverton on 12/20/08. 

 

The day began with January 1998 flashbacks. Blizzard conditions at PDX and rain and temps in the mid-30s in Silverton. However, by 9am a north wind developed and snow began falling. Snow fell moderately for about 6-8 hours accumulating to about 4-5". Then sleet fell for several hours, and then about 1/2"-3/4" of freezing rain on top of it. Freezing mist would continue until about 9pm on the 21st when the temp would shoot up to 37 degrees for a couple of hours... I'll write about what happened on the 22nd on Friday.

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 10.5"                        2020-21: 52.02"

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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I had 6" of powder on this day in 2008 with temps mostly in the mid-20's. Freezing rain in the evening glazed everything and gave it a surreal look. It looked like a winter wonderland that got laminated. We had our work holiday party scheduled for that evening in downtown Portland. Needless to say I didn't go.

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I had 6" of powder on this day in 2008 with temps mostly in the mid-20's. Freezing rain in the evening glazed everything and gave it a surreal look. It looked like a winter wonderland that got laminated. We had our work holiday party scheduled for that evening in downtown Portland. Needless to say I didn't go.

 

I remember the biggest accumulations that day where centered a little south of Portland around Wilsonville I think? 

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 10.5"                        2020-21: 52.02"

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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I don’t remember that. Possibly. I remember pretty widespread 6-8” totals around Portland.

 

Looks like the heaviest snow was in N. Yamhill and Washington Counties. 

 

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/paststorms/200812/LSRSnowfall_20081220_1500.png

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 10.5"                        2020-21: 52.02"

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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I measured 8.7" on the 20th in Clark County. Snowed all day until about 9pm when it switched to ZR.

 

These graphics for the various days of the event appear to be a bit underdone. 

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 10.5"                        2020-21: 52.02"

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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These graphics for the various days of the event appear to be a bit underdone. 

 

Cool graphic nonetheless. I didn't even know those graphics existed.

 

Forest Grove shows 10.1" on the 21st, btw. I believe this is the 24 hour snowfall from 7am on the 20th to 7am on the 21st, per standard COOP reporting practices.

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On this date in 1990 Silver Falls had their coldest high on record at 12. The low was -2. 

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 10.5"                        2020-21: 52.02"

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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Today was the "clipper day" in the middle of the December 1998 Arctic outbreak. Clouds and snow flurries resulted in widespread highs in the low 20's, including 20 in Dallas and 22 in Salem. In SW Oregon/N. California, a top tier cold wave was in progress. Lows on 12-21-1998 were 14 in Bandon and 1 in Ashland. The low of 23 in Eureka missed the all-time record by 3 degrees, and almost matched their lowest reading in December 1990 (22 on 12-22). 

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The greatest snowstorm in Portland's history began late on December 20, 1892 as a modest arctic front dropped in. The snow continued steadily all day long on the 21st and on through the evening of the 22nd when it switched to sleet. The storm total of 27.5" in downtown Portland hasn't been seriously threatened since.

 

Outside of the Portland metro where 24-30" fell, it appears that this storm generally dropped 8-16" around much of the Willamette Valley and Puget Sound regions. Warmer weather moved in by Christmas Day, but it appears that it was still a pretty white 25th for most places.

 

This storm set the stage for a really fantastic winter.

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The greatest snowstorm in Portland's history began late on December 20, 1892 as a modest arctic front dropped in. The snow continued steadily all day long on the 21st and on through the evening of the 22nd when it switched to sleet. The storm total of 27.5" in downtown Portland hasn't been seriously threatened since.

 

Outside of the Portland metro where 24-30" fell, it appears that this storm generally dropped 8-16" around much of the Willamette Valley and Puget Sound regions. Warmer weather moved in by Christmas Day, but it appears that it was still a pretty white 25th for most places.

 

This storm set the stage for a really fantastic winter.

 

Certainly a great storm.  Seattle also managed to pick up respectable 12.5", but that was only an appetizer for the utter ridiculousness that would ensue later in the winter.

 

As you are probably aware the records for Olympia indicate this event could have been truly epic there with a supposed 3.67" of water equivalent with a high of 30 and a low of 25.  I have never been able ascertain how much snow they actually had.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 7.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 5

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 23

Lows 32 or below = 35

Highs 32 or below = 2

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 5

 

 

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Certainly a great storm.  Seattle also managed to pick up respectable 12.5", but that was only an appetizer for the utter ridiculousness that would ensue later in the winter.

 

As you are probably aware the records for Olympia indicate this event could have been truly epic there with a supposed 3.67" of water equivalent with a high of 30 and a low of 25.  I have never been able ascertain how much snow they actually had.

 

Newspaper reports that I've read indicated 14" depth in downtown Olympia with that storm. The 3.67" is definitely a weird, overdone number.

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Portland getting 28" while the rest of the region reported 8-16" is also pretty weird.

 

Our historically massive storms in the region almost all feature quirks like that, actually. Heavier pockets of precip in certain spots.

 

Some examples:

 

1/31/1937 dropped 25" on Salem while most everywhere else landed between 8-16".

 

1/13/1950 dropped 24" around SEA, but most places landed under 15" with that storm.

 

1/26/1969 dropped 30" on Eugene while most places had 8-16".

 

1/25/1972 dropped 22" at Olympia but few other spots went over 16".

 

12/29/1996 dumped 26" on Victoria while most of the rest of NW WA and SW BC had 12-18".

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Our historically massive storms in the region almost all feature quirks like that, actually. Heavier pockets of precip in certain spots.

 

Some examples:

 

1/31/1937 dropped 25" on Salem while most everywhere else landed between 8-16".

 

1/13/1950 dropped 24" around SEA, but most places landed under 15" with that storm.

 

1/26/1969 dropped 30" on Eugene while most places had 8-16".

 

1/25/1972 dropped 22" at Olympia but few other spots went over 16".

 

12/29/1996 dumped 26" on Victoria while most of the rest of NW WA and SW BC had 12-18".

 

True, I didn't say it didn't happen like that, but it was a pretty extreme example.

 

That 1/26/69 storm had over 20" for much of the southern Willamette Valley, from what I've seen.

Low. Solar.

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Portland getting 28" while the rest of the region reported 8-16" is also pretty weird.

 

I think that's a legit total. Portland was a first-order Weather Bureau station, with trained personnel. It's difficult to see them screwing up snowfall measurements that badly. East Portland reported 25" during the storm. At the time, East Portland was its own city with an official COOP weather station. Glenora, at about 600' in the Coast Range near what is today Lee's Camp, measured 33.5" which included 26.5" in 24 hours. 

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True, I didn't say it didn't happen like that, but it was a pretty extreme example.

 

That 1/26/69 storm had over 20" for much of the southern Willamette Valley, from what I've seen.

 

Portland area was definitely the sweet spot but all of SW WA got buried, too. Olympia had upwards of 14", Aberdeen had 20.5" , and Chehalis had 22". Pretty wide geographic area. In Western Oregon, Salem had 9", McMinnville reported 13", and not far up the road Forest Grove had 28". The Oregonian also reported 19" at The Dalles. 

 

The 1969 storm actually had a pretty tight gradient in the Willamette Valley. Corvallis only had about half of Eugene's total with that storm. That storm nailed Roseburg up to Eugene though, and all the way out to the coast, so it was still a pretty widespread area of nuclear totals.

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12-21-1990: The coldest day on record on the southern Oregon coast. Max/min pairs on this day were 23/13 in North Bend and 25/8 in Bandon. 

 

12-22-1990: Fairfield, Idaho dropped to -52, just missing the state record low for December. The record is -54 at Stanley on 12-23-1983. Boise airport hit -25 for its all-time record low. 

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I think that's a legit total. Portland was a first-order Weather Bureau station, with trained personnel. It's difficult to see them screwing up snowfall measurements that badly. East Portland reported 25" during the storm. At the time, East Portland was its own city with an official COOP weather station. Glenora, at about 600' in the Coast Range near what is today Lee's Camp, measured 33.5" which included 26.5" in 24 hours. 

 

Oh there's no question it was legit  :lol:  Literally every news report and weather reporting spot out of the modern Portland region indicated 2' depths by the 23rd, with obviously significant impacts. 

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Oh there's no question it was legit  :lol:  Literally every news report and weather reporting spot out of the modern Portland region indicated 2' depths by the 23rd, with obviously significant impacts. 

 

Apparently the snow depth in Portland was measured at 22" during the storm. It's weird how that number doesn't show up in the CSV file for downtown that I got from the Utah Climate Center. This appears to be the all-time record snow depth for downtown Portland.

 

FWIW the monthly total at Olympia in December 1892 is listed as 52.0". Makes me think a whole lot more than 14" fell there during that storm. The state monthly climo report also has this: 

 

The greatest 24 hour precipitation occurred at Olympia on the 21st-22nd, when 3.68 inches fell, mostly in the form of snow. 

 

That sounds like 3 feet in that 24 hour stretch alone, with additional totals on surrounding days. 

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Certainly a great storm.  Seattle also managed to pick up respectable 12.5", but that was only an appetizer for the utter ridiculousness that would ensue later in the winter.

 

As you are probably aware the records for Olympia indicate this event could have been truly epic there with a supposed 3.67" of water equivalent with a high of 30 and a low of 25.  I have never been able ascertain how much snow they actually had.

 

52.0" was the monthly total for December 1892, as reported by the Weather Bureau.

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1892-93 was such an incredible winter. 

 

91" in Aberdeen, 90" in Olympia and 61" in Portland. 

 

Not to mention the most brutal cold ever recorded in the city of Seattle.  A low of 3 in the city and -10 at Woodland Park near Seattle.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 7.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 5

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 23

Lows 32 or below = 35

Highs 32 or below = 2

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 5

 

 

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Not to mention the most brutal cold ever recorded in the city of Seattle.  A low of 3 in the city and -10 at Woodland Park near Seattle.

 

I thought Woodland Park hit -5 in that cold wave? Either way, I do remember reading that it was the coldest temperature ever measured inside Seattle city limits. 

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Apparently the snow depth in Portland was measured at 22" during the storm. It's weird how that number doesn't show up in the CSV file for downtown that I got from the Utah Climate Center. This appears to be the all-time record snow depth for downtown Portland.

 

FWIW the monthly total at Olympia in December 1892 is listed as 52.0". Makes me think a whole lot more than 14" fell there during that storm. The state monthly climo report also has this: 

 

The greatest 24 hour precipitation occurred at Olympia on the 21st-22nd, when 3.68 inches fell, mostly in the form of snow. 

 

That sounds like 3 feet in that 24 hour stretch alone, with additional totals on surrounding days. 

 

Yeah, it's hard to say with the way reports used to be. I'm actually looking back through The Oregonian archive right now and one article mentions a 14" total there in town while another the day before mentions close to 30"  depth around Olympia with five feet falling in 24 hours  :lol:  Apparently several buildings in Olympia had roof collapses though. 3.68" of melted snow in a day would be out of this world though, that's definitely not remotely likely.

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Yeah, it's hard to say with the way reports used to be. I'm actually looking back through The Oregonian archive right now and one article mentions a 14" total there in town while another the day before mentions close to 30"  depth around Olympia with five feet falling in 24 hours  :lol:  Apparently several buildings in Olympia had roof collapses though. 3.68" of melted snow in a day would be out of this world though, that's definitely not remotely likely.

 

I dunno, those Olympia numbers were measured by Henry Alciatore. He was the official observer for the Weather Bureau in Olympia and also served as the Bureau director for the state, as Olympia was the capital. He was the guy in charge of putting together the monthly climo reports as well. It's his name as the author of the December 1892 state climatological summary. Seems like a reputable fellow. I don't know about the melted precip number as that could have been screwed up unintentionally, but I trust the 52" monthly snow total. 

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I dunno, those Olympia numbers were measured by Henry Alciatore. He was the official observer for the Weather Bureau in Olympia and also served as the Bureau director for the state, as Olympia was the capital. He was the guy in charge of putting together the monthly climo reports as well. It's his name as the author of the December 1892 state climatological summary. Seems like a reputable fellow. I don't know about the melted precip number as that could have been screwed up unintentionally, but I trust the 52" monthly snow total. 

 

Yeah, the melted precip total at that Priest Point Park station for the 21st-22nd came out to 6.06", all falling with below freezing, which put it up there with the wettest 48 hour totals in that station's history. Definitely screwy. Even Paradise Lodge would be hard-pressed to hit that. The 52" total is definitely more plausible but still a significant outlier. 

 

It's fun to read through the old articles and try to get an idea of how extreme these things were. The really heavy stuff definitely extended pretty far north, more than I had thought. Seattle P.I. mentioned a 23" total at Tacoma. Olympia's depth was mentioned as being in the 24-30" range at the peak in both the Seattle and Portland papers. I'd wager they saw a bit more than that actually fall. Certainly more than the 14" that was reported in a 12/23/1892 article.

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Yeah, the melted precip total at that Priest Point Park station for the 21st-22nd came out to 6.06", all falling with below freezing, which put it up there with the wettest 48 hour totals in that station's history. Definitely screwy. Even Paradise Lodge would be hard-pressed to hit that. The 52" total is definitely more plausible but still a significant outlier. 

 

It's fun to read through the old articles and try to get an idea of how extreme these things were. The really heavy stuff definitely extended pretty far north, more than I had thought. Seattle P.I. mentioned a 23" total at Tacoma. Olympia's depth was mentioned as being in the 24-30" range at the peak in both the Seattle and Portland papers. I'd wager they saw a bit more than that actually fall. Certainly more than the 14" that was reported in a 12/23/1892 article.

 

I would believe something in the 30" range for that storm. Agreed about the 6.06" in two days not being likely. I didn't realize they reported that much. 

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December 22-24, 1968: The greatest snowstorm in Redding, CA history. 23" fell over three days, including 16" on the 23rd. The snow was associated with a modified Arctic airmass that affected the PNW that week, a "warning shot" before the epic Arctic outbreak at the end of the month.

 

December 22, 1964: Redding received 7.30" of rain, an all-time record, as part of the incredible West coast storm train that led to the historic flooding in the PNW that week. 

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I would believe something in the 30" range for that storm. Agreed about the 6.06" in two days not being likely. I didn't realize they reported that much. 

 

Yeah, and therein lies the problem with trusting some of the oldest weather data we have, even at usually reliable stations.

 

I've run into the same thing with trying to corroborate some of downtown Portland's numbers from the early 1870s. Reading the monthly weather reports from 1872-74 and seeing the numbers get totally contradicted in some cases. Makes it tough to reconstruct prolific events when there's so little concrete info to go off of.

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