weather report 1/13/24

Today is the day we’ve been dreading all week, when daytime temps at the Oregon coast hover around 30F and “icy rain” arrives. The week’s weather has been typically tumultuous and no undue cause for concern — just the usual rain, lots of hail, sporadic bouts of clear skies for walking Billie, more rain, all against a backdrop of daytime temps mostly in the upper 40s/low 50s and nighttime temps well above freezing. No recent frosty mornings. Very much in keeping with our recent upgrade by the USDA into zone 9a.

New Year’s Day 2024 at the beach, the glory of the Oregon coast. To push back against privatization of beach access, in 1913 Oregon beaches were cleverly deemed “public highways” and thus open to all

In early January it felt balmy enough that we were still taking Hannah and Billie to the beach.

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no walkies for Billie today in the icy rain

And then this week rumblings started of what the Arctic blast might unleash at the coast. Shifting but portentous forecasts began to coalesce into solid predictions of “icy rain” for this weekend, particularly Saturday — I had no idea what that would look or feel like. (I covered some plants for the first time, feeling very smug and practical for doing so. But I think the uncovered Phormium ‘Pink Blush’ is toast and probably much else.)

east window looks like a frosted shower door. And note the tiny icicles! Schefflera very happy to be indoors looking out at the icy world. Houses are amazingly insulated here, unlike our drafty bungalow in Long Beach, with its historically mandated single-pane windows

Several hours into the day-long event, I have some observations to offer. Icy rain appears to be a very thin mist that barely registers to the eye as rainfall. It is neither sleet nor hail. Wind is picking up by the afternoon, but overall the event isn’t too scary. But try taking a step out of the house, and you’ll face the full slip-and-fall horror of the phenomenon. Nobody, not even foolhardy kids with delusions of immortality, are braving the sidewalks. The utility wires are accumulating dangerous loads of ice, and there’s already power outages reported in Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach, Garibaldi, Netarts and Oceanside. Marty optimistically bakes oatmeal cookies — whether they see a warm oven before the power gives up is the game now. Fluffy snow, like we had last winter, is vastly preferable to this ice sheet that’s descended.

a small room with north and east windows is easily kept warm and where I mostly hang out, hence the mess on the table. Note my hydrangea wreath, the first of several I’ve made!
Aloe ‘Tangerine,’ Long Beach garden December 18ish, 2023

A quick visit south for the holidays revealed aloes about to bloom. More to say about new plans for the southern garden, the intricacies of local weather, wrapping faucets when ice threatens, our boundless love of the pellet stove, but I’ll post this while the power holds. Take care!

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7 Responses to weather report 1/13/24

  1. Elaine says:

    Icy rain is the worst. Pretty much everything shuts down. Seems like most of the continent is in a winter event. We are in our own Arctic blast with temperatures close to -50C (-58 F) with wind chill. Schools are shut down and other than venturing out to turn the furnace on and off in the garage and fill the bird feeders we are indoors. Very pretty outside with clear skies and snow so it’s a good time to read and browse catalogues. Hope your weather clears up soon and the power stays on.

  2. Elaine says:

    Oh, and Hannah is adorable.

  3. Denise says:

    @Elaine, -58F! Crazy cold weather this weekend. Yes to plant catalogues. Stay warm!

  4. Kris P says:

    I was glad to see both Hannah and Billie! Your house looks very cozy despite the horrid weather just outside. I can’t even imagine icy rain. It appears we may not get much of any rain this month but I expect that still better than icy rain. I hope the oatmeal cookies got baked and that you haven’t lost power. Meanwhile, that Aloe ‘Tangerine’ is magnificent.

  5. Oh, I hope your power stayed on throughout. I can’t believe you got ice at the coast. Hannah is a curly haired cutie! Billie looks content on the couch, lol.

  6. Denise says:

    @Kris, the cookies were baked and eaten! We never lost power, but Oregon overall was hit hard with power losses, trees down, etc.
    @Tracy, yes it was all icy rain, no snow for us. We were the lucky ones and never lost power. I’m seeing blue bands of sky over the Coast Range today so maybe some thawing before it dips below freezing again tonight…

  7. Jerry says:

    That’s the big difference I’ve seen between here and the Midwest and the Northeast. There, the temperature is consistently cold enough that it all falls as snow. Here, it starts as rain and then a cold front comes in, changing it all to ice. I was pretty smug when I first moved to Oregon, having had much practice driving on snow. But, I quickly learned that ice is a much different beast that no one should venture out on.

    Historically mandated single pane windows? That sounds strange.

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