The Big Snow

Our part of Oregon has been blanketed with snow, and lots of it for 4 days. We had bitter cold temperatures Wednesday, February 5th with the wind chill heavily impacted from east winds coming out of the Columbia River Gorge. The wind chill dropped the ‘real feel’ of 22 degrees down to 10 degrees or lower.  That causes our temperature to be much colder than the readings on the thermometer.  Once every year or two, we have a couple of days of these frigid temperatures, and that’s when we cover potted plants with plastic. I actually hoped it would snow, to help insulate the plants. And, it did.  (Peonies planted in the ground are fine – they benefit from cold in the winter).

With the 2014 Winter Olympics underway, it seems our snowfall was in some sort of competition, too. Thursday we received about 3 to 4 inches of snow – a usual amount for a really good, ‘school child’s dream’ snow day in this area. But, oh no, the competition was on, Friday brought 6 to 7 additional inches of the beautiful powder. I read that the last time this area had a snow event of these proportions was in 1968/69. (Some areas just 30 - 40 minutes southwest of us received over 18 inches of snow Thursday and Friday). Saturday, I woke up early, feeling a warmth in the house that I haven’t felt lately. I smiled at the thought of warm, sunny temperatures and a short lived ‘snow event’. I went outside expecting to see a turn in the weather; but, found another 2 to 3 inches of fresh snow (over a foot total) and it was still falling. The warmth in the house is simply a benefit of a foot of snow insulating our house roof; just like it is insulating plants.

The snow stopped falling yesterday afternoon; but, like an ice skater who throws the ‘triple Lutz’ to lock in the win, we received a nice layer of freezing rain over the snow. That layer of ice glaze ensures an extra day of thawing out to be able to drive anywhere. The thaw is starting now - I see the icicles on the gutters starting to drip: very, very slowly. Four days homebound - thank heavens for the Olympics on television, otherwise I would feel like I have to clean cupboards or something…. 


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