The first snowstorm I experienced in Portland, OR was the New Year’s Day storm of 2003. It was fun. About 4 to 6 inches fell on to the city, leaving things pretty much shut down for the day. The streets were filled with people on skis, in sleds, trying to bicycle, flipping snowballs at each other — it was all very festive. A couple of days later this frivolity came to a skidding halt when the temperatures dropped, leaving the whole area in one big sheet of ice, but that’s another tale altogether.
That ended up being pretty wimpy in comparison to the “Arctic Blast” of 2008 when the “snowiest December on record,” according to Portland Bureau of Transportation, walloped the city with 19 inches of snow. Historically, Portland gets about 4.5 inches of snow per year, so … we didn’t see it coming. I had just returned from my big year away and thoroughly enjoyed the distraction. As an aside, that was nothing compared to the 41 inches that fell in January of 1950, but that was a bit before my time so I’m gonna move on, but here’s a fun site devoted to historically crappy winter weather in the Portland area if you want to take a gander.
All this is to say, that weather events can be exciting, and they get people riled up … and it’s kinda cute. The weather guys are beside themselves, hauling out the jargon and the advisories and cautions. People, like me, who really never have to drive anywhere anyway, decide not to get in a car at all and cancel two weeks worth of activities for fear of winding up like those cars in that video that gets passed around every time snow dusts the Portland Metro area. Maria gets all wide-eyed and literally sits at the window waiting for the flurries to fall so she can play in it.
The news people say “freezing drizzle,” is expected this evening and warning about ice on the roads, but it does have kind of a much ado about nothing kind of feel to it, there’s a hang doggy tone to the reporting, you can tell. I mean, look at this forecast, there’s just not a lot of there, there. Maybe some snow, but at 41 degrees, that’s pretty much a slurpee.
That’s alright, there’s still plenty of winter to be had yet, we’re just getting started.