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A storm system that dumped precipitation on multiple states in the West appears to be easing, but rivers have yet to crest and many communities are still digging out from record snowfall.

It was a historic evening for Portland and surrounding areas Tuesday night as record snowfall led to one of the snowiest days ever recorded at the Portland International Airport.

By 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service said it recorded 6.5 inches at their offices near the airport.

“That makes this the ninth snowiest calendar day at PDX since 1940,” said Colby Neuman, a meteorologist with the NWS in Portland. The agency also described it as the snowiest day in the Portland and Vancouver area since Jan. 20, 2008.

A major storm east of the Cascades has dumped snow and closed businesses and schools Monday. The weather has also been a factor in several accidents and deaths. Bend, Oregon, has nearly three feet of snow in some places.

Homeless RV
Flickr Photo/A. Kwanten (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Bv6MSo

It's cold for everyone this week in the Northwest - especially those who are homeless. An estimated 4,500 people are without shelter in King County alone, according to last year's one-night count.

Low temperatures, snow drifts, and northeasterly winds east of the Cascades are making things difficult for Northwest ranchers and dairy owners. They are struggling to keep their animals hydrated, fed and warm.

Mountain pine beetles will be challenged by the current cold weather.
Flickr Photo/Government of Alberta (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/o3U8ax

You can thank this cold weather for making Washington's forests healthier in the new year. Forests, and backyard gardens, rely on bouts of cold weather to kill off destructive and invasive pests.

No, not that kind of Seattle freeze. It's gonna be cold brrrrrrrrrrr.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

It will be a cold start to 2017 in the Seattle area. Forecasters say that as the ball drops New Year's Eve, a cold front starts moving into the northwest from Canada.

The rainiest fall on record in parts of eastern Oregon and Washington was good for keeping late-season wildfires at bay, but torrential rains wreaked havoc on some timber harvesters in the Northwest.

Winter Storms Give Oregon Snowpack An Early Boost

Dec 20, 2016

Across Oregon and much of Washington, the snowpack is above normal.

Julie Koeberle, a hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said the string of winter storms across the Northwest in recent weeks is benefiting the region’s snowpack.

“Year’s past, we’ve had a little bit of a slow start to the snow season. And so, this year we’ve had an early start and it’s benefited the ski areas," Koeberle said. "It’s been great for recreation."

The most courteous snowfall ever: Arrived at bedtime, disappearing by morning.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Snow is blanketing much of western Washington this morning.

seattle snow man
Flickr Photo/Panchenks (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/bhfYon

Kim Malcolm talks with Seattle Department of Transportation spokesperson Sue Romero about how Seattle is preparing for snow. Between one and three inches is expected to fall in the Seattle area on Thursday night.

The threat of snow and freezing rain prompted a rare snow day in much of northwest Oregon. Most school districts and many government offices closed in the Willamette Valley.

Prein et al., Nature Climate Change

Wintertime is often drizzle time in the Pacific Northwest. The region may need to get used to more intense rain — and landslides and floods — as our climate changes.

The Weather Channel has a message for the website Breitbart:

"Earth Is Not Cooling, Climate Change Is Real and Please Stop Using Our Video to Mislead Americans"

A vast pool of warmer-than-normal ocean water off of the West Coast continues to mess with our weather and sea life. It's nicknamed "The Blob.”

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