January-colder and wetter than normal

A cold snowy day on the Rogue River makes for a scenic drive
A cold snowy day on the Rogue River makes for a scenic drive

So much for global warming were the words heard on the street and in the local coffee shops last week as people spent much of last week slipping and sliding to work or searching for a babysitter when notice that school was to be canceled flashed across the TV screen at 5:30 a.m.
The month started with wind and precipitation. The winds did major damage and left one valley resident dead as a tree fell on her vehicle as she was driving to work.
Then there was a calm before the storm(s) which played games with us for most of the last 10 days of the month, hitting their peak last week.

As is often the case, Medford was the "banana belt" when one compares
snowfall in the nearby mountain communities or even at the 2000 ft.
level. Butte Falls and Prospect both found themselves with heavy
snowfalls forcing the closure of schools for one or two days.
Eagle Point proper had about three or four inches of snow which lingered and finally left us with black ice on Thursday morning.
National Weather Bureau reported a total of 5.6 inches of snow in
Medford from Jan. 27 through Jan. 29. They reported high and low
temperatures around two degrees below normal. The lowest temperatures
was 19 on Jan. 28 and the highest was 53 degrees on Jan. 26. Total
rainfall for Medford for January was 3.77 inches, which is 1.30 above
normal. The normal snowfall for January is 3.2 inches and the weather
bureau reported 6.2 inches.
For the water year which
begins Sept. 1,  Medford reported 12.01 inches, which is 1.62 inches
above normal. Eagle Point and other Upper Rogue communities always get
more winter precipitation than does Medford. Our unofficial total for
January in Eagle Point was 14.17 inches, according to Valley Feed’s
weather station.
Saturday, Feb. 2, ODOT closed Highway 62
from Prospect to the Crater Lake National Park entrance  as well as
Hwy. 138 E. at Diamond Lake to U.S. 97 and the entire stretch of
Highway 230, which connects with Hwy. 62 and Hwy. 138 E.
January was a cold, wet month.  And if you follow the groundhog’s
prediction, you know we are in for six more weeks of winter.
to Oregon Department of Transportation District Manager John Vial,
crews are running out of places to put the snow, with highways reduced
to a single lane in many places.
"Most of these sections are
down to one lane with snow berms up to 12 feet. There’s literally no
place left to push the snow. We’re using all available snowblowers to
widen the highways but this storm just keeps dumping snow and we cannot
keep up."
I-5 was closed from early Saturday evening until
around midnightfrom Ashland to Redding. And early Sunday, the Siskiyou
Summit and I-5 at least to Weed was experiencing snow and snow covered

By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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