Friday, February 01, 2008

Talking about weather again

The pictures coming out of the Midwest this week were brutal. The weather folks, nationally, do a fairly good job of keeping us abreast of the goings on. Often they show pictures and make reference to large areas (central plains, upper Midwest) and never mention the state let alone the region. (People here think Detroit IS Michigan.) That being said, I caution my readers about what they hear about the Pacific Northwest as well.

Today's national weather on NBC starts out with piles of snow in Chicago with canceled flights and comments about the nationwide freeze then cuts to pictures of huge drifts in Washington and Oregon. Hello, people, the scenes from the PNW are above 2,000 feet. The Cascades are at 120% of their normal snowpack...all the passes (the lowest areas out of our wonderful valley that lead to the outside world) are dangerous with ten foot high drifts in some cases, but come on. We have had a skift of snow two mornings this week and the daytime temps are 45 degrees.

There have been some school delays due to buses having difficulty running in the hills around town, but in general, it has been business as usual.

I leave for the coast this afternoon for a men's retreat (26 of us from church) and we have decided to go over the Coast Range at the lowest pass (700 feet) to avoid the snow, but once on the other side it will be wet and well, we will see. (Wet we can count on.)

Aleene and I think this winter has been colder and wetter that last. A year ago the workers put our new roof on when I went to this same event on Superbowl weekend (we will be back before kickoff at 3:45 PST). I would not want to do that this year...too wet.

So there you have it. The Willamette (rhymes with "damn it") Valley is 150 miles long and 50 miles wide (more or less) and is just above sea level. The warm air aloft (mesoscale, Jeff?) brings in moisture to be sure, but drops it as snow at the higher elevations, but a misty rain (usually) here. I do not miss dealing with single digits and blowing snow.

Oh yes, the skiing is beautiful they tell me, if you can get to the lifts.

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