We're enduring Portland's coldest January start in nearly 40 years, with more to come

It's no major revelation that this winter has been particularly cold and wet, but (recency bias aside) this might actually be the worst Portland winter you've ever seen -- and we're just getting started.

According to the National Weather Service, the temperature at PDX over these first 17 days of January have been the coldest on record since 1979. The NWS models show more below-average temperatures ahead to round out the month, too, with a 90 percent certainty.

This cold winter for the Pacific Northwest comes on the heels of one of the hottest years on record. Weather data shows that 2016 was one for the record books, with roughly 98% of weather stations nationwide reporting above-average temperatures for the year.

A new report from NOAA found 2016 to be the warmest year in Earth's recorded history, "culminating in a remarkable 3-year streak of record warm years for the globe," the report said. Read the full report here.

Reaching beyond a half-dozen winter storm events, the Columbia River Gorge continues to struggle with snowy and icy conditions shutting down the main east-west arteries across the state. Both I-84 and SR 14 were closed Wednesday morning due to snow slides, icy roadways and fallen trees.

Check TripCheck before you leave, but don't get your hopes up. In a tweet, ODOT said I-84 would likely be closed for the remainder of the day Wednesday. According to TripCheck itself, several hundred miles of Oregon highways were shut down due to recent wintry conditions.

As temperatures rose to near 60 degrees along the coast and warmer weather made its way inland, the slow thaw in the Portland metro brought on flooding and standing water concerns. As we return to a relatively normal weather pattern, expect clouds, rain and temperatures topping out in the 40s for the foreseeable future.


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