portland weather

The surprise end-of-season snow: 13-15 March 2020

To add to these weird times: a late season snowfall!

The forecast had been calling for cooler temps and a chance of snow at higher elevations all week. But higher elevations than where my humble North Tabor home sits. So it was a surprise to see some snow mixed in with rain on Friday March 13th. None of it stuck, but the 38F/3C ambient temp was a significant drop from the 62F/17C we saw just days previous.

And then on Saturday, we got the real deal, at least as “real” as it can get here in a maritime climate in March. I saw a report of snow in Salem before I went to bed at 1 am, and peeked out the window at 4 am to white stuff. By the time I woke up at around 8, it was snowing moderately, maybe an inch or two on the ground. This wasn’t what was expected, but not the first time they got the snow forecast wrong. Sure glad that I cancelled the Chehalem Range Ramble!

Getting snow in March is weird after a season that saw practically nothing. There was maybe 15 minutes of snow at my house in January, it was gone within an hour. And it’s pretty rare for there to be any chance of snow after mid-February. But March? The last time I remember a “significant” in-town March snow was in 2006, but that was only at higher elevations.

I took a little walk around the neighborhood. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about seeing winter now, but I might as well make the best of it, since it’s highly unlikely we’ll see anything else until November at the very earliest. When I got home, I did a little shoveling. There wasn’t much snow, but it was still coming down good. I figured I should make a “jump” on things, but it didn’t matter: within an hour, the pavement was melted despite it still coming down good. And then it stopped. It took longer for the snow to melt from grassy areas and rooftops, but by Sunday morning it was mostly a memory, though some hastily-built snowpeople survived the dy.

And now we’ll be seeing 60F/16C by mid-week. Such weird weather for weird times. Still, the snow was pretty and got my mind off things for a minute!

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