A hush came over Oregon through an alarming call for a declaration of a state of emergency from governor Kate Brown. The Portland metro region was slammed with a historic winter snowstorm and everything was coming to a grinding halt. The snow fell at a rate of an inch an hour and in the end piled up accumulations in some areas of 15 inches or more of thick white snow. Major traffic backups and drivers stranded for hours was rampant along the freeways with many ditching that route to try back roads in an effort to avoid gridlock.

Snow became a challenge for many Portlanders recently, and overall most Oregonians are just not comfortable with the white stuff, especially when it comes to any type of travel. Historically snowfall is limited for the Portland metro area and that brings a sigh of relief to most. But with that there can be an occasional rogue storm which have dumped some heavy quantities every 20 years or more. In 1950, there was snow accumulations recorded at 41.5″ in the Portland city and the all time record holder is still 1893, for the most snow in a winter with a whopping 70 inches covering the ground.


The unprecedented snowy covering caused significant grumbling from commuters and businesses alike. Schools were shut down for days and it left many parents scrambling for childcare. Most just opted to sit it out and hunker down at home waiting for the thaw to come. Those who did venture out found most streets impassable and huge front loader construction vehicles mammothly moving down the highway breaking up the ice damns along the dividers. The headaches were mounting up in the aftermath of the storm.

Sledding in Portland OregonThough one thing struck us, the kids got it right. They were grabbing every possible item they could convert into sleds and headed out to any hill nearby to enjoy the wintry bounty. Snow fights and forts were being erected and happy snowmen dotted the landscape like jolly little poster children for Santa’s workshop. Smiles spread across the grumbling drivers as they saw these little white snow people waving in the wind as they passed by.

It created time for families to spend a bit of homebound time together. Sipping hot cocoa, popping popcorn and watching movies as a family. There were Longer dog walks to check out the snow coated trees in the neighborhood and sparkling mini icicles hanging from the branches. The glistening crystals looking like miniature lights strung up amongBeauty of Snow in Oregon the boughs as the sunlight shone through them. We also stopped to admire the scenery, it was hard not too. The mountains had a fresh frosty glaze over their rounded statures and even the birds seem to be enjoying the extra insulation the snow provided. Swooping out of their nests for a bit to soar over the frozen orchards.

We often get so caught up in our daily, busy lives that we become numb to stop and take in the beauty that is right in front of us. We think this snowstorm offered an opportunity, if not a gift of taking a second look at the grandeur that surrounds us each and every day. Recognizing the gift of our family that share in our adventures and joy. And lastly the sheer gorgeous painting outside our doors that mother winter took to create for us!

What is the record amount of snowfall in Portland OR

Take a moment to look at the beautiful aerial video we captured after the snowfall.