My research helped me build the main graphic here. 3.5″ was the official snow total in Portland. Officially then, it was the city’s snowiest February day in 19 years!
No wonder the Thursday evening commute was such a mess. With crashes, spinouts, gridlock and commutes that should take minutes suddenly taking hours.
Yep, it was Portland’s worst evening commute since December 2009! That night in 2009, the snow was a surprise. This time we had plenty of warning but it was tough to tell around the Portland-Vancouver area.
Salem was a weird situation. The city was in a ‘donut hole’ so to speak, with significant snow to the north and south but not much happening. Not much happening, that is, until right after someone tweeted me they were very disappointed the snow didn’t really show up in Salem. I told them I didn’t expect much at that point (this was while Portland was getting heavy snow). And of course, within minutes, the snow fired up over Salem and roads starting looking like this. Storm totals were 1-4″ in the Salem area.
Oooh, ahhh. What a shot. 5″ of snow on the beach (and trees) at Rockaway Beach, Oregon. And even snow out in the Pacific Ocean on the formation you see here called Twin Rocks. Manzanita had 8″, the Newport area up to 4″, Tillamook 3″ and so on. Quite a snow day for many on the coast–although some coastal cities didn’t see much.
And then there’s the Gorge. Oooh, ahhh. Just like the last picture! During the storm a group of kayakers were on the Washington side of the Gorge going right over Spirit Falls on the White Salmon River. Incredible shot. And the colors are real–I saw the video, too.
So snow totals are always tricky because they vary like rain totals do — some places within the same city can get more or less — than other places. But here’s a partial list of totals:
**Vernonia – 11″
**St. Helens – 10″
**Battle Ground – 7″
**Vancouver – 5″
**Gresham – 5″
**Hillsboro – 5″
**Lake Oswego 4″
**Happy Valley 3″
**West Linn 2″
**Oregon City 1″
And the most exciting thing for kids around the Willamette Valley: the cold arctic air over us right now means the snow is still on the ground to play with on Friday. So most schools are canceled.
During that last big snowy night in December 2009…most of the snow melted overnight in a warm breeze. At least this time we’re getting some mileage out of our February snow!