Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Laker Notes

Joel KwartlerOne thing is certain: Oregon weather is unpredictable

After living in Lake Oswego for most of my life, I’ve developed the ability to predict the weather. It’s an amazing skill that should carry me straight to the position of senior meteorologist — or “The guy with the good hair who never picked a major in college” — the second I enter the job market.

“Good evening. I’m Joel Kwartler with your weather report. Tonight it will be between 40 and 50 degrees. Tomorrow, it will also be between 40 and 50 degrees. I could take you through the temperature ranges, city by city, but I think we can both agree there is actually no point in doing so — although it would give us a chance to marvel at the groovy interactive map. As far as precipitation, condensation, elevation, the space station, sequestration, cloud formation and our great nation are concerned, I’m 100 percent positive that they’ll all be unpredictable. Thank you and have a good night.”

That’s right: unpredictable. You can stand in beams of sunlight while getting soaked by rain. Aside from the guaranteed chill, our weather can be so preposterous that if you asked statistician and presidential forecaster Nate Silver for our weather report, he’d reply, “The weather? Um, can I just tell you the SAT scores of your future grandkids instead?”

But it’s all good, right? At least we don’t live in California. Oh, wait a sec ... they have warmer weather. Well, at least we don’t live in Florida. Actually, scratch that, too. Let’s just be thankful that we don’t live on Mercury, which is uninhabitable because it gets more sun than we do. You know what? Forget I even mentioned this entire paragraph.

Now, some people in Oregon will inform you that they like the rain. Usually, they’ll tell you, “I like the sound,” or, “It makes everything so peaceful.” You’ll notice that they don’t say, “I love to drive in conditions more dangerous than in that Jeep T-rex chase scene in ‘Jurassic Park,’” or, “I just can’t get completely soaked enough, you know? Having wet clothes and dripping hair makes my day.”

Nobody likes the rain. These pitiable claims of enjoyment simply spring from a common human condition called denial. People are so fed up with the rain that they’ve convinced themselves that they adore it. Sadly, this isn’t enough to change our cherished love-hate relationship: We love it when it’s not raining and hate it when it is.

I’m not going to say anything more about rain from this point on, save to mention that it is wet, it falls from the sky and it rhymes with Herman Cain. No, what really needs discussion is snow.

Oregon has had a dramatic shortage of snow in the past couple of years. Back in 2008, we were blessed with 85 times the snowfall of the entire previous century. I understand, however, that it is irrational to expect that much snow yearly. I don’t care; I expect that much snow yearly.

You might be wondering why I’d love some snow, so I’ll lay it out for you. I’m a high school student. Now, think about it: What happens when it snows? It gives students the educational opportunity to study the chemical bonding of H2O molecules in real life, of course! Undoubtedly, we need snow for the edification of our youth.

Many of you probably expected me to mention that school closes when it snows. In actuality, schools here rarely close for snow. Instead, we have something called a two-hour delay. Basically, the schools are saying that they could give us a day off, but that they would really hate to do so, to the point where they are willing to make everyone put their lives on hold for two hours, in the hopes that the snow will melt. This is just one of the reasons high school is so very popular amongst teens.

Therefore, I’m not just advocating for snow. No, what we need is so much snow that LO begins to look like it was built by a bunch of Michelin men. We need snow like the “Twilight” series needs developed characters.

Unlike rain, when someone says they like snow, they’re telling the truth. After all, you can create snowmen, go sledding and make snowballs. I’d never tell you (in writing) to throw snowballs at anyone, because we’ve all been chided, “What if someone got hurt? It’s only fun until someone loses an eye,” but I will tell you to chuck, toss, hurl, lob, fling, heave and pitch snowballs indiscriminately toward any carbon-based life form. Plus, you could probably still get by with just one good eye anyway.

I’d like to end by asking you to pray for snow, but every single student in the Portland area has prayed for snow since Sept. 3 and it hasn’t made a difference. Snow, like Donald Trump’s hairstyle, appears to be beyond human control. Therefore, I’ll leave you with this advice: The next time it snows, be thankful that Oregon finally got some enjoyable winter weather. It’ll certainly take your mind off of the teenager throwing snowballs at your windows.

Joel Kwartler is a junior at Lake Oswego High School. He writes a monthly column in the Lake Oswego Review. To contact him email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .




Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy

62°F

Lake Oswego

Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 67%

Wind: 5 mph

  • 21 Aug 2014

    Partly Cloudy 80°F 59°F

  • 22 Aug 2014

    Partly Cloudy 81°F 57°F