Clark County experiences ‘very rare’ weather as April snow hits region

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Rick Bannan / [email protected]

A perfect cold-weather storm hit Clark County last week, bringing some of the last low-level snowfall on record.

On Monday, April 11, Clark County residents saw “somewhat unseasonably cold temperatures,” David Bishop, meteorologist at the National Weather Service Portland office, told The Reflector. A mass of cold air and a low pressure system brought heavy, wet snow to the area.

Lower elevations in the Portland metro area received between 2 and 4 inches of snow, while higher elevations received more, Bishop said. The NWS reported that Ridgefield received about 6.5 inches.

While it’s not uncommon to see snow at higher elevations at this time of year, Bishop said it’s “very rare” to see snow reach the bottom of the river valley. Columbia.

Last week’s snowfall was the last of the year to result in an accumulation.

Portland International Airport received a measurable amount of snow in April for the first time since records were kept dating back to 1940, Bishop said.

Bishop said the snow represented the second-highest April snowfall on record when looking at records for downtown Portland that date back to 1874.

In the days following the snowfall, Bishop said the weather produced a convective environment, which brought showers, thunderstorms and hail across the region. Although hail is fairly common, Bishop said thunderstorms are generally rarer in the region.

“It happens, but it’s not as prevalent as if you go east of the Cascades,” Bishop said of the thunderstorms.

The weather that hit early last week caused utility issues in Clark County. At one point, Clark Public Utilities reported that more than 26,000 of its electricity customers were without power and 129 outages were recorded.

The majority of outages were restored within hours, CPU spokesman Dameon Pesanti told The Reflector. Pesanti said longer outages in the northern part of the county were restored by the evening of April 12.

Weather damage was quite widespread, as utility poles snapped and trees lost branches. CPU had more than 150 people responding to utility issues due to weather, Pesanti said.

During future weather events, Pesanti said Clark County residents should not call 911 to report power outages unless there is an imminent safety hazard or injury.

“These calls interfere with the reporting of actual emergencies and 911 dispatchers cannot relay outage information to us at the utility,” Pesanti said in an email.

Future outages can be reported online at clarkpublicutilities.com or 360-992-8000.

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