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Brrrrr – cold weather coming

UPDATE • City does dry run of snow equipment to get ready for foul weather

Portland Mayor Sam Adams and city transportation officials will do a 'dry run' Tuesday morning of the city's snow plows and foul weather equipment in preparation for what some forecasters are predicting could be a cold, wet winter.

Adams and the Bureau of Transportation will mobilize plow trucks and sanders during an equipment check in the city's fleet yard on North Kerby Avenue. Adams also plans to talk about the city's plans to keep some streets and roads clear in case of snow and ice this winter.

A handful of forecasters came to the conclusion during the weekend that the Portland area - and Oregon - could be in for another nasty winter, partly because of La Niña.

That was the consensus of five meteorologists who presented their predictions at the 19th Annual Winter Weather Forecast sponsored by the Oregon chapter of the American Meteorological Society. It was held Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry before a stand-room-only crowd of 365 people.

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La Niña reigns (and rains)

All five forecasters agreed that La Niña weather conditions are still in force, which is likely to mean cooler and wetter than normal conditions across the Pacific Northwest. Last winter - when La Niña conditions were also in effect - featured two notable cold spells with low-level snow in late November and late February. It also featured lowland flooding along the Sandy River and record setting snowfall in the mountains.

Some forecasters went further, however, suggesting that February may be the coldest month of the winter, with the best chances for low-level snow and an arctic outbreak.

For example, former KGW meteorologist Jim Little said that the most recent similar year to the current trend was the winter of 2008-09, which featured the most snow of any Portland winter since 1968-69.

Among other things, the winter of 2008-09 included 24 inches of snow at the Portland International Airport, along with a new record for the most snow ever received in the month of December. In fact, nearly 10 inches of snow was still on the ground on Christmas Day 2008.

All of the presentations are available on the American Meteorological Society's website, www.ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon .