Publication Date August 1, 2017

Pacific Northwest Has Been the Country's Most Extreme Weather Region in 2017

United States
A mid-March sun sighting elicited a highly retweeted post from NWS-Seattle. Image: NWS Seattle on Twitter

The first three weeks of January featured four separate winter storms in parts of the Pacific Northwest: Helena, Iras, Jupiter and Kori.

Iras, Jupiter and Kori all dumped accumulating snow or ice in Portland, Oregon. Winter Storm Jupiter was an unexpectedly crippling snowstorm for Portland, with up to 15.5 inches reported in parts of the metro area.


After 8 inches of snow from Winter Storm Jupiter at the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Portland, at least 1 inch of snow remained on the ground from Jan. 10 through Jan. 17, a streak of eight straight days.

While you wouldn't bat an eye about this streak in, say, Minneapolis or Caribou, Maine, NOAA's ACIS database said there were only six longer streaks of at least 1 inch of snow on the ground at Portland International Airport or the NWS office, where official data is now taken, dating to 1940.


Portland averages just two days each winter with at least 1 inch of snow cover.

Winter Storm Helena just missed Portland, but dumped 20 inches of snow near Bend, Oregon, and led to some relatively rare snow along the southern Oregon coast.


Then, in February, Winter Storm Maya dumped the heaviest snow on the Seattle metro area in five years. Sea-Tac Airport picked up 7.1 inches of snow from Maya Feb. 5-6, 2017, making it the heaviest two-day snowstorm since Jan. 18-19, 2012.