Thursday, March 22, 2012

All-Time Snowfall Records Fall Across Western Oregon & SW Washington

By Steve Pierce, President, Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society

Vancouver, Washington (March 22nd 2012) - "Many cities across Western Oregon and Southwest Washington are setting all-time cold and snowfall records for this late in the season. Since Tuesday night, the Willamette Valley has been blanketed with anywhere from 2" to 9" of snow from Vancouver, WA. south to Eugene, Oregon. Since Tuesday evening, many all-time March snowfall and temperature records have been broken up and down the Willamette Valley at airport locations. Portland, Salem, Eugene and Vancouver, WA. airports all set new coldest daytime high temperature records on Wednesday in addition to setting new all-time records for the heaviest snowfall this late in the season. Eugene, Oregon easily broke their maximum daily precipitation record for Wednesday with 1.92 inches with equated to a record setting 7.5" of snowfall on Wednesday."

"The Portland International Airport recorded 0.5" of snowfall overnight last night which sets a new all-time record for that location. March 22nd 2012 will now go down in the record books as the latest measurable snowfall in Portland Airport history. The period of record at the Portland airport is 1940-2012. The previous latest snowfall on record for the Portland airport was set on March 15th 1946. The excellent staff at the Portland office of the National Weather Service have reviewed daily records that previously indicated both March 20th 1995 and March 25th 1965 as the latest dates for measurable snowfall in Portland. These reports were in fact hail, not snow! Hail was often reported under the snow column on the record sheets. Looking even further back, downtown Portland records indicate that as much as 5" of snow fell in the first week of April in 1936. Records in downtown Portland date back to 1872. It is hard to believe that spring break is just 24 hours away for Oregon students."