Rick Bannan / [email protected]
Although White Christmas did not come in time, Clark County saw a series of snowy days last week.
From the early hours of December 26th, the weather turned cold and steep, causing a number of areas in the county to accumulate several inches of snow.
NWS meteorologist Clinton Rockey said the air masses poured into the area during the week weren’t particularly cold, but were cold enough to cause an accumulation. He said the region has a wide range of snowfalls given the “rainy” weather.
“Taking a shower is like spilling a bowl of popcorn on the floor. You never know where it will be … You could have a bunch in one area and none in another, ”Rockey said.
Clark County saw a number of clusters, from a few inches in Vancouver to parts of Amboy and Yacolt getting 10 to 12 inches, Rockey said.
“Most places were at least 2 to 3 inches,” Rockey said of the snowfall that covered southwest Washington.
The average amount of snow the area received ended up being around 3 to 4 inches.
Rockey said the “last breath” of snowfall occurred on the morning of Friday, December 31, as drier air and higher temperatures entered the area.
“(It’s) rain again and heavy snow in the mountains,” said Rockey.
Although he said the snowmelt was likely to cause river levels to rise, it didn’t look like there was potential for much flooding in Clark County.
In recent years, winter has started with milder weather, but Rockey said last week’s snowfall wasn’t unusual for the area.
“It’s what you would expect for January and late December,” said Rockey. “It doesn’t happen regularly, but it happens often enough not to be a rare occurrence.”
The weather resulted in adverse driving conditions with numerous wrecks recorded in the county. As of December 28, the Washington State Patrol had responded to 43 crashes since the snow began, WSP Public Information Officer Will Finn tweeted that day. Further north, WSP recorded more crashes, as Cowlitz County reported 73 crashes at the time. The Washington State Department of Transportation recorded numerous accidents on Interstate 5 in Clark County during the week.
The weather did not have a major impact on Clark County’s electricity supply. During the peak of the snowfall earlier this week, Clark Public Utilities reported only minor outages, affecting a few dozen customers at the same time, CPU media specialist Dameon Pesanti said on Dec. 28. That morning there was a major outage affecting about 1,000 customers, but it only lasted about 10 minutes.