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


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On this date in 2003 an area of low pressure tracked south of Salem with a broad quasi-stationary baroclinic band of precipitation to the north. Temperatures slowly dropped throughout the evening under steady precip and light offshore flow. By late evening on the 28th rain began transitioning to snow across the western part of the Willamette Valley as cold air banked against the coast range. Places like Dallas and Monmouth were the first to transition around 9-10pm and they would receive the heaviest accumulations with 8-12" of snow falling by morning on the 29th. Precip would transition to snow at Salem by midnight and further east towards Silverton where I was living the changeover did not take place until about 3-4am on the 29th. The Salem area saw about 4-8" of snow with places to the north and east getting lower totals, the higher totals south and west. In Silverton we picked up about 4.5" of snow. 

 

Because the events played out in a relatively similar fashion a lot of PNW weenies confuse the Dec 28-29, 2003 event with the more widespread January 1, 2004 event. PDX never switched to snow with the earlier event and at least in the east valley the accumulating snow on the 28-29th event stayed south of a Woodburn/Molalla line. 

 

I stayed at the coast that night with no internet near Otter Rock. The drive back inland the next morning was a fun one, since I had minimal idea of what had taken place. I remember about 4" in McMinnville by the time I got there.

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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 stayed at the coast that night with no internet near Otter Rock. The drive back inland the next morning was a fun one, since I had minimal idea of what had taken place. I remember about 4" in McMinnville by the time I got there.

In Silverton those 4.5” were the most significant snow accumulation in nearly 9 years. It closed a chapter on one of the worst if not the worst stretches of winters in our recorded history.

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 0.5"                        2020-21: 27.38"

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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On this date in 2003 an area of low pressure tracked south of Salem with a broad quasi-stationary baroclinic band of precipitation to the north. Temperatures slowly dropped throughout the evening under steady precip and light offshore flow. By late evening on the 28th rain began transitioning to snow across the western part of the Willamette Valley as cold air banked against the coast range. Places like Dallas and Monmouth were the first to transition around 9-10pm and they would receive the heaviest accumulations with 8-12" of snow falling by morning on the 29th. Precip would transition to snow at Salem by midnight and further east towards Silverton where I was living the changeover did not take place until about 3-4am on the 29th. The Salem area saw about 4-8" of snow with places to the north and east getting lower totals, the higher totals south and west. In Silverton we picked up about 4.5" of snow. 

 

Because the events played out in a relatively similar fashion a lot of PNW weenies confuse the Dec 28-29, 2003 event with the more widespread January 1, 2004 event. PDX never switched to snow with the earlier event and at least in the east valley the accumulating snow on the 28-29th event stayed south of a Woodburn/Molalla line. 

 

There were several events tucked into that late Dec / early Jan period.  Pretty much everyone got something good from at least one.

Death To Warm Anomalies!

 

Winter 2020-21 stats

 

Total Snowfall = 0.3"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 25

Lows 32 or below = 23

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0

 

 

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The baroclinic band on 12/29/03 even came as far south as Eugene.  I was leaving for a trip to the Sun Bowl and as I was driving to the airport, at about 6AM, the rain changed to snow and the temp dropped from 35 to 27 in about 15 minutes. And that was indeed 1 of the 3 best events for Monmouth since I moved here in 1989.  The other 2 being 2008 and Feb 6 and 7 of 2014.

Springfield, Oregon cold season 20-21 Stats:

  • Coldest high: 38F (Nov 21)
  • Coldest low: 23F (Oct 26)
  • Days with below freezing temps: 28 (Most recent: Jan 20, 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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In Silverton those 4.5” were the most significant snow accumulation in nearly 9 years. It closed a chapter on one of the worst if not the worst stretches of winters in our recorded history.

 

Yeah, the valley got hosed pretty bad from 1993-1998. That was a nice-ish stretch for SW WA.

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Cold wave peaked on this day in 1968 as a warm front began to encroach from the SW.

 

Spokane pulled off a mundane -8/-25 day while Pullman, WA hit -32 and right across the border Moscow, ID hit a ridiculous -42.

 

SEA hit a monthly record low of 6 while PDX had a midnight high of 14 as a blizzard blew in and temps remained between 8 and 10 the remainder of the day.

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Cold wave peaked on this day in 1968 as a warm front began to encroach from the SW.

 

Spokane pulled off a mundane -8/-25 day while Pullman, WA hit -32 and right across the border Moscow, ID hit a ridiculous -42.

 

SEA hit a monthly record low of 6 while PDX had a midnight high of 14 as a blizzard blew in and temps remained between 8 and 10 the remainder of the day.

Sounds like Phil’s forecast for this week.

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There were several events tucked into that late Dec / early Jan period.  Pretty much everyone got something good from at least one.

 

4 different snow events in Tacoma: one a couple days before New Years, then New Years Day, then the Arctic front, then the big overrunning event .

Low. Solar.

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Cold wave peaked on this day in 1968 as a warm front began to encroach from the SW.

 

Spokane pulled off a mundane -8/-25 day while Pullman, WA hit -32 and right across the border Moscow, ID hit a ridiculous -42.

 

SEA hit a monthly record low of 6 while PDX had a midnight high of 14 as a blizzard blew in and temps remained between 8 and 10 the remainder of the day.

 

GEG definitely underperformed in December 1968. Even Stampede Pass pulled off a -15/-21 day. Leavenworth was -10/-36 and Winthrop was in full Siberia mode at -21/-48. Even Walla Walla Airport was -9/-24, virtually identical to Spokane. Incredible CAA from that event.

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Record low at Silver Falls on this date is 6 set back in 1955. I don't think that was actually a major cold snap, but there was a decent snowfall a couple days earlier so it may have been more of a radiational cooling event. Record snowfall for the date was 4" back in 1951. 

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 0.5"                        2020-21: 27.38"

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 do not believe the 1968 airmass set any record lows at Silver Falls. It was more of a low level cold airmass, highs in Salem and Silverton were in the mid-teens, but around 30 up here. 

 

Silverton was 15/7 on the 12/31/68. All-time coldest max (Records 1962-present). 

 

Here are their 5 coldest highs.

 

15 - 12/31/68

17 - 12/21/90

17 - 12/22/90

17 - 02/04/89

18 - 12/23/90

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 0.5"                        2020-21: 27.38"

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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12-30-1927

 

Arctic air poured into the Portland area. Downtown max/min pairs were:

 

29th: 41/27

30th: 27/19

31st: 19/14

1st: 24/15

2nd: 30/22

 

A major winter storm affected the I-5 corridor. Downtown Portland received at least 6" of snow (max depth on Jan. 2nd, actual snowfall amounts missing), along with a ton of freezing rain. Melted precip totaled 0.99" on the 31st and 1.40" on the 1st, with temperatures well below freezing. 

 

Chewelah, WA dropped to -33 on the 31st, a monthly record low. Extreme cold affected Montana as well. Trident hit -55 on the 31st, an all-time record low and just 4 degrees from the CONUS record low for the month of December. Adel hit a monthly record of -46 and Missoula fell to -25. 

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12-30-1927

 

Arctic air poured into the Portland area. Downtown max/min pairs were:

 

29th: 41/27

30th: 27/19

31st: 19/14

1st: 24/15

2nd: 30/22

 

A major winter storm affected the I-5 corridor. Downtown Portland received at least 6" of snow (max depth on Jan. 2nd, actual snowfall amounts missing), along with a ton of freezing rain. Melted precip totaled 0.99" on the 31st and 1.40" on the 1st, with temperatures well below freezing. 

 

Chewelah, WA dropped to -33 on the 31st, a monthly record low. Extreme cold affected Montana as well. Trident hit -55 on the 31st, an all-time record low and just 4 degrees from the CONUS record low for the month of December. Adel hit a monthly record of -46 and Missoula fell to -25. 

 

Good event. Even SLE had 3 consecutive sub-freezing highs and a 27/17 on the 31st. 4.5" of snow at SLE it looks like. 

 

That 19/14 is super impressive. We sure used to have some nice winters/events.

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 0.5"                        2020-21: 27.38"

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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Good event. Even SLE had 3 consecutive sub-freezing highs and a 27/17 on the 31st. 4.5" of snow at SLE it looks like. 

 

That 19/14 is super impressive. We sure used to have some nice winters/events.

 

We sure did. An event like Dec 1927 gets lost in the shuffle when looking back at that era, but it would have produced the coldest day of the 21st century today.

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We sure did. An event like Dec 1927 gets lost in the shuffle when looking back at that era, but it would have produced the coldest day of the 21st century today.

Just the WPAC forcing acting up. Should reverse any year now. ;)

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We sure did. An event like Dec 1927 gets lost in the shuffle when looking back at that era, but it would have produced the coldest day of the 21st century today.

 

Looks like a bit of a early 20th century version of January 2004. 

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 0.5"                        2020-21: 27.38"

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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2015-16?

 

I remember you getting pretty excited for us in early January 2015.

I meant summer 2015.

 

August/September of this year, too!

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I meant summer 2015.

 

August/September of this year, too!

 

After you had predicted a cooler than normal summer in May. :rolleyes:

 

I don't want to argue it, I know you'll deny it vehemently and try to dance semantics around it until the day you die, but the evidence remains.

 

I think you tend to do better with pattern recognition a few weeks out than seasonal forecasts. You've had some great calls, and you've had some busts, but more busts with seasonal forecasts it seems.

Low. Solar.

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After you had predicted a cooler than normal summer in May. :rolleyes:

 

I don't want to argue it, I know you'll deny it vehemently and try to dance semantics around it until the day you die, but the evidence remains.

 

I think you tend to do better with pattern recognition a few weeks out than seasonal forecasts. You've had some great calls, and you've had some busts, but more busts with seasonal forecasts it seems.

I think he’s still done much better than you though, overall. We all know that competition with him is the real reason behind this post. You still lose in that regard

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We were in the grips of the 1978 arctic outbreak on this date. Silver Falls had a 27/6 day with 4" of snow. A few days later they would acually set their record monthly min/max for January with a high of 21. 

Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 0.5"                        2020-21: 27.38"

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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A year ago this evening it started snowing. I ended up with about 7” total. There was snowcover for the next 3 weeks.

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Snowfall                                  Precip

2020-21: 0.5"                        2020-21: 27.38"

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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Impressive numbers from the late Dec 1978/early Jan 1979 cold wave, which was peaking right around this time. All-time record lows included -39 in Baker City and -8 in Olympia. Kalispell hit -37 on 1-1-1979, just missing the all-time record low of -38 from Jan 1950. Subzero readings in the Portland area included -2 in Vancouver, -1 in Battle Ground, and -1 in Forest Grove. Maybell, CO hit -60 which is within 1F of the state record low.

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Impressive numbers from the late Dec 1978/early Jan 1979 cold wave, which was peaking right around this time. All-time record lows included -39 in Baker City and -8 in Olympia. Kalispell hit -37 on 1-1-1979, just missing the all-time record low of -38 from Jan 1950. Subzero readings in the Portland area included -2 in Vancouver, -1 in Battle Ground, and -1 in Forest Grove. Maybell, CO hit -60 which is within 1F of the state record low.

Such an insane winter for the country as a whole.

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Low. Solar.

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I think he’s still done much better than you though, overall. We all know that competition with him is the real reason behind this post. You still lose in that regard

Pretty much. We’re into January 2018 and he still can’t let last summer go.

 

It’s his only “victory”.

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Pretty much. We’re into January 2018 and he still can’t let last summer go.

 

It’s his only “victory”.

 

:rolleyes:

 

If you'd just be honest Phil, there would be no issues. Don't stoop to Jesse's level.

 

I gave an honest assessment based on real events. I'm not perfect either. You can take it in stride, or go down the butt hurt trail. Jesse gave his own heavily biased opinion based on zero actual evidence.

Low. Solar.

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:rolleyes:

 

If you'd just be honest Phil, there would be no issues. Don't stoop to Jesse's level.

 

I gave an honest assessment based on real events. I'm not perfect either. You can take it in stride, or go down the butt hurt trail. Jesse gave his own heavily biased opinion based on zero actual evidence.

Good lord. Stop trying to bait me into a flame war. :lol:

 

You are only upset about what I said because it was accurate. I watched the last year’s weather and your respective forecasts unfold with my own eyes. I don’t owe you any “evidence” for the obvious.

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Good lord. Stop trying to bait me into a flame war. :lol:

 

You are only upset about what I said because it was accurate. I watched the last year’s weather and your respective forecasts unfold with my own eyes. I don’t owe you any “evidence” for the obvious.

 

You cannot argue that you are objective - it's blatantly obvious that you are not. And you have provided zero evidence.

 

I'm not upset. Those are facts.

Low. Solar.

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You cannot argue that you are objective - it's blatantly obvious that you are not. And you have provided zero evidence.

 

I'm not upset. Those are facts.

Do you think you are objective? If so, provide me evidence. I will be here waiting. :rolleyes:

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I can imagine someone beating Flatty in a foot race and him stamping his feet and not conceding until “evidence” is provided. :lol:

 

Some things are just obvious. No evidence needed. Phil has done a much better job despite his more specific approach, which makes it even more impressive. I think just about everyone here but one person would agree.

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I can imagine someone beating Flatty in a foot race and him stamping his feet and not conceding until “evidence” is provided. :lol:

 

Some things are just obvious. No evidence needed. Phil has done a much better job despite his more specific approach, which makes it even more impressive. I think just about everyone here but one person would agree.

 

This is your biased opinion. Provide real evidence, real objective analysis of our forecasts, and your opinion (though still biased) will mean something.

Low. Solar.

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I can imagine someone beating Flatty in a foot race and him stamping his feet and not conceding until “evidence” is provided. :lol:

 

Some things are just obvious. No evidence needed. Phil has done a much better job despite his more specific approach, which makes it even more impressive. I think just about everyone here but one person would agree.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

Low. Solar.

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You claimed I am incapable of objectivity. I want evidence.

 

You've demonstrated a consistent beef with me. Complete lack of balance in your responses to me. There's plenty of evidence that you wouldn't give me a positive grade on anything, no matter what. 

 

So why would anyone think you are capable of an objective analysis of my forecasts?

Low. Solar.

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You've demonstrated a consistent beef with me. Complete lack of balance in your responses to me. There's plenty of evidence that you wouldn't give me a positive grade on anything, no matter what.

 

So why would anyone think you are capable of an objective analysis of my forecasts?

Seems pretty subjective...

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This is your biased opinion. Provide real evidence, real objective analysis of our forecasts, and your opinion (though still biased) will mean something.

No. Why would I waste energy trying to provide objective evidence refuting this subjective post, considering you don’t believe I am capable of objectivity? It’s a fool’s errand. :lol:

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