Jack Frost drops in for a quickie

The Portland ice storm of Christmas season 2022 did indeed arrive as advertised. And it definitely caused some inconvenience, particularly for people trying to get in and out of town by air. Many holiday plans got altered or cancelled, I'm sure.

The sequence was the classic Portland pattern: hellacious, frigid east winds, then some snow, then freezing rain, then an agonizingly long wait for the thaw. Fortunately, the cycle took less than three days to run its entire course.

The microclimates of the area were on full display in the last stage, when everybody's watching the thermometer and rooting for the mercury to hit 32.1ยบ Farenheit. For what seemed like an eternity, the weather apps on our gadgets were telling is it was 34, but on the front porch our little amateur setup was reading 30-point-something. I'm sure it was 34 somewhere in Portland, but not over here where we are, on the Idaho side of the Willamette.

By the time we headed out for a Christmas Eve party, everything was thawing out. It was still slick in spots underfoot, but the predominant texture was slush. You could do a lot worse around here; we have, many times before.

We lost power for a couple of hours in the middle on the night when the winds were howling. A tree must have gone down somewhere nearby. I think something like 1500 households were in the dark around us. The power company got right on it.

The plastic tubing that takes accumulated condensation from the furnace out to the side of the house froze. It was not unexpected. The makeshift solution involves a turkey baster, or for the more adventurous, mouth siphoning skills honed on the streets of Down Neck Newark. We have a permanent solution in mind, and in '23 we will get it installed.

There was just one casualty in our neck of the woods. What kind of sign is it when you wake up on Christmas morning and there's a dead crow out next to your car? I think the bird probably froze to death. There were no signs of foul play.

So many questions. Can you put the carcass in the green yard debris/food slop bin? I'll have to ask Stenchy.

Anyway, with apologies to the stranded air travelers, I'm rating this Portland ice storm a mere 5.5 out of 10 on the Bojack Storm Center 9000.3 Severity Scale™. And let's hope that's it for the ice for a good long while. Snow, on the other hand, is always welcome.


  1. Yeah, that furnace 'feature' really sucks! (no pun intended)

  2. Cured the problem by using a piece of copper tubing that picked up heat from the inside of the house. The copper always stayed above freezing and hasn’t frozen since

  3. I'm impressed Jack didn't go for a "fowl play" pun.

  4. Based on before and after consumption at our feeder, half of the hummingbirds that were visiting died.


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