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Intense winds give way to calm skies

Intense winds around the start of the New Year - gusts of 46 mph were recorded in Troutdale on Jan. 1 - have given way to more placid conditions in the past two weeks.

Our official count of East Wind days has reached the unlucky number of 13 (through Friday, Jan. 18), but we're feeling fortunate that our days have been relatively breeze-free this winter. People who guessed a number higher than 13 in our East Wind contest - and that would include most all of the entrants - are still in the running for nifty prizes.

To determine the winner, we are measuring how many East Wind days the area endures between Thanksgiving Day and the final day of February. So far, the pace is lagging behind what we've recorded in previous winters.

Will our windless luck hold up? We'll keep you posted on that.