Record-Breaking April Snow Hits Oregon, Washington; 131K Without Power

A worker repairs power lines as winter storm brings havoc to New Jersey as ice caused power outages and downed trees throughout the area on December 18, 2019 in West Orange, New Jersey. Temperatures are expected to be in the teens by Thursday morning. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Getty Images)
Rick Loomis/Getty Images

A storm in the pacific northwest dumped wet, heavy snow on the Portland, Oregon, metro area and southwest Washington, marking the first measurable April snowfall at the Portland International Airport on record.

The National Weather Service noted that Portland International Airport documented the first-ever measurable snowfall in April since it began keeping records in April 1940.

“The National Weather Service predicted anywhere from a half inch to two inches of snow in Portland, and three to six inches at elevations above 500 feet, such as Council Crest,” Oregon Live reported.

As of Monday morning, snow in downtown Portland totaled around two inches, while nearby areas received anywhere from two to eleven inches, KOIN Meteorologist Kelley Bayern wrote in a tweet. Several feet of snow is expected to cover the Cascades, the National Weather Service said.

“This kinda hits different in the spring. It’s heavy, wet snow rather than the fluffy stuff we see in the winter,” KATU meteorologist Rhonda Shelby noted.

The storm set off a wave of disruption including school cancellations, power outages, and closed roads, KGW reported.

The outlet noted that school districts, including Portland, Tigard-Tualatin, and Beaverton, called off school Monday, as the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) announced downed trees have resulted in multiple road closures.

“The upper elevations is where we’re seeing the most problems,” said ODOT spokesperson Don Hamilton, KATU reported. “Slow down, be careful, watch out for the other vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians on the roads.”

As of 9:00 a.m. PST, reported that 59,540 customers in Multnomah County, which includes the city of Portland, were without power, while another 8,389 customers in neighboring Washington County were experiencing outages. In Columbia County, 2,371 of 4,546 customers lost power, as did 688 of 770 customers in Wasco County.

In Washington, 16,814 customers were without power in Cowlitz County, and 16,250 in Clark County were experiencing outages as of 9:00 a.m. PST.

Between the two states more than 131,800 customers were without power as of 9:00 a.m.

A winter weather advisory was put in place until 10:00 a.m. PST Monday, according to KGW.

“Temperatures will show slow warming from mid-morning into the noon hour,” KGW meteorologist Rod Hill said. “This afternoon will see scattered rain showers with hail, and valley highs warming into the 40s.”

He noted that flurries could fall early morning Tuesday and Wednesday.


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