Extreme Cold in Oregon

This week an Arctic blast brought record low temperatures to much of Oregon. Steve Pierce has written two excellent summaries; they appear below.

Steve Pierce
Northwest Weather Consultants (NWC)  

Historic Cold Last Night Across Pacific Northwest
Portland, Oregon (Sunday, December 8th 2013) – “Historic December cold descended upon parts of the Pacific Northwest early Sunday morning, as the mercury dipped to as low as -41 degrees below zero in Oregon. Under a thick blanket of snow, several locations set new records. At Lakeview, Oregon the mercury dropped to -27 degrees below zero, setting a new all-time record for that location. The previous record was -22 degrees below zero set back in February of 1933 and again in January of 1937. Perhaps even more impressive was on the west side of the Cascade mountains where Eugene, Oregon fell to -10 degrees below zero Sunday morning. Ironically, this is not an all-time record for Eugene. As luck would have it, Eugene’s all-time record low is -12 degrees below zero was set on this very day back in 1972, making today the second coldest day in Eugene modern day history. Records date back more than 123 years (to 1890) in Eugene. Other daily records were also set in Vancouver, Washington and many other stations. Here are some of the Sunday morning low temperatures for selected cities;
Burns, Oregon = -30 degrees below zero
Lakeview, Oregon = -27 degrees below zero (NEW ALL-TIME RECORD)
Redmond, Oregon = -27 degrees below zero
Eugene, Oregon = -10 degrees below zero. This was Eugene’s second coldest low on record (since 1890). All-time record low is -12 degrees.
Salem, Oregon = 8 degrees
Vancouver, Washington = 9 degrees (new record for the day)
Portland, Oregon (International Airport) = 12 degrees
Astoria, Oregon (along the coast) = 13 degrees
Equally impressive was the fact that out of nearly 750 stations reporting across Oregon this morning, more than 400 of them fell below zero last night. Here is a list of all Mesowest reporting stations across Oregon that reached -20 degrees below zero or colder last night —


Historic Eugene Cold Weather Continues
Portland, Oregon (Monday, December 9th 2013) – “Residents of Eugene, Oregon continue to shiver for a fifth day in a row as the arctic deep freeze continues. Overnight low temperatures in Eugene dipped below zero for a third day in a row Monday. This marks the first sub-zero low temperature at Eugene in more than 40 years (1972) when five nights in a row dipped below zero. When looking at Eugene only, the current cold spells average temperature surpasses some of the most significant cold spells in Pacific Northwest history including January 1950, February 1989 and December 1990. The current cold spell now ranks 2nd coldest in Eugene history when looking at average Eugene temperatures, falling just shy of the arctic blast of December 1972. Eugene still has significant snow cover on the ground and low level arctic air trapped near the surface, which is keeping the home of the University of Oregon Ducks in the deep freeze. Eugene’s average temperature Sunday was a bone chilling -35 degrees below normal, which for energy providers equates to a “60” heating degree day measurement. This is a rare occurrence for any western Oregon location to achieve. Another issue that will face residents all across the Pacific Northwest will be broken water pipes once the temperature finally rises above 32 degrees and pipes begin to thaw and leak. This particular cold spell arrived early this year and falls in line with forecasters thoughts at October’s 21st Annual Winter Weather Forecast Conference hosted by the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in Portland.”  
Here is a look at a complete history of Eugene days where overnight lows were below zero, sorted by date. The period of record is 1939-2013.
High Temp
Low Temp

About George Taylor

Climatologist, husband, father (3), grandfather (2)
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