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Friday, February 25, 2011

Breaking News: It didn't really snow much

As so often happens, Portland's meteorologists badly miscalculated the flimsy snow event we had in town yesterday. All the hype about four inches of snow "on the valley floor" was worthless. But of course, the school folks couldn't wait to shut down for the day with the arrival of the first flake. Turns out, it was a decent day, with temperatures in the mid-30s and roads that were not only clear of snow, but also in fact bone dry for a lot of the day. The kids in the schoolyard near us played basketball all afternoon.

Now it's below freezing, and expected to drop into the teens tomorrow night. Although it's clearing off, there are some icy spots here and there on the roads, which should trigger some further closure action by the decision-makers. The schools will probably open late, which is fairly amusing, because the ice probably isn't going to melt until late afternoon.

But if you were hankering for snow photos, we've got just the place for you, here. The date and place are phony -- these shots were taken elsewhere, in several locations -- but they supply a look at what Portland's weather has once again failed to deliver.

Comments (12)

Maybe the Mayors Bureau of Transportation was just REALLY effective at snow removal...

I heard that the Creepster and Randy "the just dandy" in a late night council meeting, forced a vote with the other do nothing members and passed a law making it illegal to snow in P-Town more than just a dusting.

We got snow down the valley and close to 4" where it snowed off and on yesterday which is very unusual for the PNW. It's still quite pretty out there but the roads are mostly now clear and if it goes without too much fuss starting on Sunday maybe it won't even flood.

Snow day was nice, nonetheless. Emptier roads. Kids in the hood struggled to make much of the snow though. Somehow, won't remember this snow event like I still do December January '08 snow dump, nor the freak one afternoon late December '09 snow ice Traffic snarl up (Took some ten hours to go from Portland to Salem via I-5, either way). Yesterday was a nice change of pace, but at the end of the day it was a forgetable yawner. Guess this is good.

I would narrow the criticism to the broadcast "meteorologists" who depend on public anxiety to produce ad revenue. If you followed the actual forecast discussion put out by the National Weather Service ( http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?wfo=pqr&pil=AFD&sid=PQR - albeit liberally sprinkled with technical jargon) they were pretty candid over the past few days about the unpredictability of the precipitation levels.

A lot of what one experienced in the great 2011 Blizzard is direcky related to altitude.

Over here Thursday in West Portland Park, there were 3 accidents (6 cars involved) in a stretch on Capitol Highway from a block south to a block north of the entrance to Markham Elementary.at about 7:45 AM Two interesting curves, a slight downhill grade, and idiots driving too fast with plain, not studded tires.

I'm glad that around here, the relatively well equipped school buses ( chains, some with sabd boxes) weren't out making there rounds and sitting at school bus stops as bright shiny targets for idiots driving too fast without the right equipment.

A two hour delay would have been fine around here yesterday. A full snow day was an over reaction.

Here's a question for you. Under the various teacher contracts around the area, there are a certain number of furlough days, where the teachers do not work (when they otherwise would have had to) and they do not get paid salary. These are days where the kids do not get taught. Meanwhile, whenever there is "snow", the schools close, the teachers do not work, the teachers DO get paid, and again, the kids do not get taught. Why not have the contracted furlough days be the snow days? (If there are still unmet furlough days not taken by snow days, take them at the end of the year.) If we really care about the kids getting instruction days, this seems like a pretty easy way to improve a bad situation.

But...but...TriMet did a great job getting people to work!

(Of course, all the buses were chained, which will cause a LOT of road and wheel damage, and of course that just means it costs more to run the bus system compared to the light rail and WES system.)

Fox 12 did a story this morning asking why the local school districts screwed up closing schools when there was no snow (as if Fox 12 had nothing to do with it by hyping a winter storm that never arrived)!

Just ONCE I would love to hear Zaffino admit that he was wrong.

I'm boycotting the propaganda machine from now on.

I'd like to hear ANY of them just get on the air and say they were wrong wrong wrong - especially Matt Zaffino. It would restore some of their credibility.

Although now I know that I should never travel without several flares, clothes, water, food, and necessary medicine to travel my commute from Hillsboro to Portland. I must have seen those segments 15 times at least. If there was ever a way to increase ad revenue, this is it. I quit.

The only guy on TV who had any integrity was Jack Cappell (god rest him) who actually predicted the Columbus Day storm and probably save lives.

I don't usually watch either 6 or 12, but a week or so ago I was watching one of those at 11:00 PM (so I think it was 6) and there was a weather talking head on there who "grades" himself, giving a numerical / percentage grade for how accurate his previous day's forecast was.

Interesting concept, and I'd like to see moreof the talking head weather folks do something similart.

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