Portland Logs Its First Measurable April Snow
Most of the Portland metro region awoke Monday to a blanket of more than an inch of snow — the latest date the city has suffered wintry showers in at least 82 years.
It’s the first measurable April snow at the Portland International Airport [PDX] since records began in 1940, reports oregonlive.com: “In 82 years of record-keeping, PDX had never recorded more than a trace of snow in April. That ended today,” said the National Weather Service (NWS).
Portland received 1.6 inches of snow Monday morning, with the city’s higher elevations copping much more: Rocky Butte saw 3.5 inches; nearby Washougal, Washington logged 11 inches; while Hood River noted 9 inches.
Many residents were keen to document the unprecedented late-season snow covering their cars, backyards and gardens:
The peak of the rare spring snow fell from about 3 to 7 AM Monday. The conditions brought about the closure Portland area schools as well the region’s main highway, and the storm also knocked out the power to at least 100,000 homes.
With the storm having now passed, the mercury is free to plunge close to the freezing mark, especially on the west side of the metro region where icy roads are forecast to impact the Tuesday morning commute.
The next weather system is expected Tuesday night into Wednesday, and although weaker it will still bring another chance of measurable snow to the valley floor, according to NWS meteorologist Colby Newman.
Historic Blizzard To Pummel The Northern U.S.
While the worst of it may be over for western states, swathes of the northern U.S. are under blizzard warnings this week with AccuWeather forecasters warning that the “storm of the century” could unfold across the region.
We’ve been tracking this storm’s potential for a while now and it looks set to deliver.
The system is on course to dump feet of record-breaking April snow to cities such as Bismarck and Grand Forks, ND — accumulations that are set to rival the record-setting, late-season snowstorm of 1966 (solar minimum of cycle 19) which dropped up to 2 feet of snow on these areas.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty, it will likely rank as “one of the worst storms in recent history.”
The combination of high winds and snow are expected to shut down roads and interstates across many areas, and snowdrifts may reach up to 20 feet. The monster storm is forecast to shift eastward from the Rockies into the center of the country Monday night into Tuesday. Meanwhile, another sharp southward dip in the jet stream will allow frigid Arctic air to funnel into the Southwest, the Rockies and northern Plains, setting the stage for a more robust volumes of snow as the week progresses.
On the northwest side of the storm, heavy accumulating snow will begin Monday night and continue through Thursday, especially for portions of the northern Plains into the Canadian Prairies. High terrain areas of the Rockies can expect to measure totals in the feet. And winds should be strong enough to produce blizzard conditions later on Tuesday through early Thursday.
The storm will bring snowfall to an expansive swath of North America, as visualized by the latest GFS run (shown below). Communities from Bismarck, ND, to Winnipeg, MB, and well into Ontario, could see up to 3 feet of snow. In Grand Forks, ND, the snowiest April ever was in 1970 when 17 inches of snow settled — this snowstorm alone could produce more than that.
This spells trouble for the region’s cattle ranchers.
Calving season is underway and significant snowfall threatens young cattle if they become buried for any extended amount of time. The infamous April blizzard of 1997 (solar minimum of cycle 22) killed an estimated 100,000 cattle in North Dakota alone.
Record cold is set to accompany the snow, and is forecast to persist through the second half of April, too:
In Bismarck, for example, AccuWeather is calling for lows of 21F overnight Wednesday, with the windchill making it feel like -3F.
We are in mid-April, right?
For all the Sun’s huffing and puffing in recent months, it appears that it may have run out of steam–at least temporarily.
Solar activity has fallen off a cliff this week. As of today, April 12, just one lowly sunspot is visible on the Earth-facing solar disc — the young, emerging ‘AR2988’, a small active region that poses little threat of solar flares:
Solar Cycle 25 is -so far- tracking its forerunner–the historically weak Solar Cycle 24.
If this trend continues then these will be the weakest pair of solar cycles for 200+ years (since The Dalton Minimum — 1795-1835). The upshot? Global temperatures are expected to continue their well-established correlation with solar activity, and decrease.
For more, click the links below:
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING in line with historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow (among many other forcings, including the impending release of the Beaufort Gyre). Prepare accordingly — learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.
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