This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 11, 2011 4:33 AM. The previous post in this blog was Too much ballad, not enough power. The next post in this blog is Bull in the china shop. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Special Report: It might snow

Here at Blog Central, the temperature is below freezing, there's a storm coming in off the ocean, and that can mean only one thing!

Portland authorities stress that it's really important to prepare yourself for the potentially deadly weather we might encounter later today. Snow! Ice! Cold! You could die! There's only one thing to do -- remain indoors and stay glued all day to bojack.org StormCenter 9000.2. Do not go outside -- do not even look out the window! We have complete team coverage starting with this update from the Sylvan overpass:

We're up here on the Sylvan overpass, and we're seeing road crews out here spraying de-icer on the perfectly dry roads. This is an important procedure, because it makes the dry roads look like they're covered in black ice. That way, drivers know what black ice looks like, so when they're driving on real black ice tonight, they won't be surprised at how it looks.

Also, you'll notice that Portland has both of its snow plows out, and they're up here near the on-ramp, all chained up and ready to go. If it snows, the really good-looking people in the city transportation office are Tweeting that barring unforeseen problems, they'll have 10 or 12 of the city's streets completely cleared out in the first 24 hours after the snow stops falling. Back to you at Blog Central.

Thank you. Now we're going to go live for a report from the StormCenter 9000.2 team up on Crown Point in the Columbia Gorge. Can you hear us up there? Take it away:

We're up here on Crown Point and it's very windy, and the meteorologists tell us it's going to get even more windy as the storm bears down on us. Also, we're high up here, which means that unless there's an inversion, it's colder up here than it is down below us. And so, if it's snowing down there, it's definitely going to be snowing up here. In that case we'll both have snow, which could make for some hazardous travel conditions. Man, it's windy up here. Back to you.
It's really blowing up there, isn't it? Now let's get an up-to-the-minute storm forecast from our StormCenter storm-tracking weather experts. They have been monitoring the storm from the observation deck of the debtors' detention center at the top of the Wells Fargo Tower:
There could be some precipitation coming our way, and if the temperature stays below 32 degrees, it is probably going to freeze, either before or after it hits the ground. There is a definite chance of that happening. If it's snow, or rain that turns to ice, it's probably going to be slippery. Which means that people trying to travel on it could slip, and maybe collide with something solid, causing injury. And so it might snow, and you might die. If it doesn't snow or freeze -- if it's just plain rain -- you'll be o.k. We'll let you know as soon as it starts coming down. Until then, use caution. Back to you.
Meanwhile, here in town people are pitching in to help those who are most vulnerable to the biting cold. The Portland police bureau is offering a free Tasing to anyone who wants it; they urge cold people to bring a small knife or pointy scissors to the Justice Center lobby on Southwest Third. Please stop moving right away once you feel the Taser and start to warm up. At the United Church of Christ out in Parkrose, the doors will be open all day, and Reverend Chuck Currie has promised to give a brief sermon every hour on the hour to keep up a plentiful supply of hot air. City Commissioner Nick Fish and the crew at the shopping cart locker operation in Old Town will be giving foot massages to the homeless beginning at sunset this evening. And Merritt Paulson, owner of the Portland Timbers soccer team, has offered to let a poor or lower-middle-class person sit on the hood of his car after he parks it and heads into Bluehour today for lunch. Paulson's expected to be at valet parking at the restaurant at around 11:45 this morning.

We'll be back, live, after this message from Mattress World. Stay tuned to bojack.org StormCenter 9000.2 for all the latest on the Great '11 Storm.

Comments (20)

Your snark cracks me up; this was an especially amusing entry to read. OMG! ONOZ!

Well, I guess I'll have to stay home and not go to work today--damn!

Those of us back East will pray for you, Jack. We are expecting 1-3" later today and yet I managed to make it into work without careening off the road.

God Bless you Storm Center 9000.2. You are the light in the darkness leading us to safety.

Update from Tampa/St Pete: Chilly here this am, in the low 60's.
The locals are all wearing fur trimmed parkas! No kidding!

I nearly got frostbite on a finger this morning on my bike ride to work (Dallas is dealing with ridiculous windchill, reaching single digits), as the west wind was brutal. Naturally, this led friends to tell me "You know, there are these things called 'gloves'." My response: "Yep, we've got 'em here in Dallas. We also have these newfangled things called 'outhouses', too."

Love how Rod Hill was "wish-casting" 12 inches of snow for Tues / Wed on Saturday's late-night news. Now? No snow but maybe some freezing rain but we really don't know.

Sam is asking everyone to take mass transit. If we do how are we going to get room on the contraptions when over 97% of trips are made by vehicles?

Do I carry my work-truck onto the trolley so I can get to work....which by the way is in numerous places all more than 5 miles away from the nearest transit stop?

What's this I hear about the city's new $40-per-household snow-removal fee?

Who's brother-in-law is selling the city all that deicer they're laying down? He's going to be a wealthy man.

I agree with Ginger. Regards, Hal

Christian - nearly all of the weather models, through Saturday afternoon, showed a potent low pressure system crossing Oregon to the south of Portland, with the cold air both to the north, and coming through the Gorge. With significant moisure levels (1-2" at one time), we could have seen 1-2 feet of snow. However, models, late Saturday, started to show the system moving to the north, and it appears to now be moving up the coast to northern Vancouver Island. A secondary low will likely dive into California, splitting the jet stream, and we may actually see little precipitation of any sorts. Much more like an El Nino winter.

Because of the strength of La Nina this winter, the weather geeks' speculation is that computer models do not have enough analog data to handle events this winter. Thus, model accuracy 4-5 days out is more compromised than usual.

Has your attention to weather distracted you from this Media Event, unrolling right now -- or perhaps not occurring until next week:

An event will be held next week to kick off construction of the Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge over Interstate 5. The 700-foot long pedestrian and bicycle bridge will be built adjacent to the aerial tram and connect the historic Lair Hill neighborhood to the South Waterfront District.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams will be joined by Oregon Health & Science University President Joe Robertson, M.D., and representatives from the Portland Development Commission and the South Portland Neighborhood Association.

Tuesday, January 11, at noon.

The Media Advisory, dated 10 January, says that it will happen "next week" but also today, "at noon."

Gibbs Street, it should be recalled, is on a steep hill: it has provided entertainment for the world, via YouTube, during past snowstorms when vehicles, filmed from a condo high overhead, attempted the climb.

This is even more funny now that I live in a place that gets snow every year, and knows how to deal with it.

I don't care for the salt they put all over the roads, but there's an army of public and private entities with plowing attachments on the front of trucks, and they keep the place pretty clear even when it snows all day.

I'll go back to careening out of control soon - have to make my way home in an hour or so...

Wow, a weather report that didn't use the word "dicey" even once.

Umpire - thanks for the knowledge! Kinda peeved because I would have loved a big weather event but also due to how Rod was seemingly very sure of this happening. Not an "if" but more of a "when."


All made so much worse and terrifying since the end of global warming cold protection.

Small flakes of snow are currently falling in Tigard: we've counted 12 in the last 30 seconds. The streets are bone dry right now, and may soon be wet.

Shelter in place, and pray.

It looks like our snow storm hit the East Coast. They need to work on those 5 day models.

TriMet busses are chained up.

My 94 bus leaving the Barbur Transit Center actually got onto I-5, doing 25 MPH while the rest of the freeway traffic was blasting past at 55.

TriMet's safety managers are...well...apparently not concerned about the hazard posed by said above event. Good thing we didn't get rear-ended by a tanker truck. (I once had a TriMet bus driver play chicken with, and cut off a tanker truck on the same stretch of I-5 north of Tigard. However, that was the very last day I saw her...next day we had a new driver.)

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