A second straight night of below-zero temperatures left the High Desert in deep-freeze mode late Sunday and early Monday -- though a wee bit warmer -- with the promise of warmer days to come in the new work week.
And indeed, Bend had reached 27 degrees by mid-afternoon Monday, relatively "balmy" but also threatening to start thawing frozen (or broken) pipes, with whatever outcome that could bring for more homeowners and businesses after a string of water-flow alarms and flooding in some cases.
Bend Airport was back down to -8 by 11 p.m. Sunday, La Pine was down to -11 and Redmond Airport was at -10. Powell Butte was at -3, as was Prineville Airport, while Camp Sherman was at -5, Warm Springs was -6, Sunriver Airport was at -7 and Sisters Airport at -8.
Bend Airport reached its overnight low of -9 around 1:15 a.m. Monday and slowly climbed from there, reaching zero again before daybreak and 1 degree by 7:15 a.m.
Redmond Airport reached it's low Sunday night of -10 just before 11 a.m. and also was back up to 1 degree shortly before 7 a.m. -- not warm by any means, but far "warmer" than the -27 recorded the previous night.
A La Pine-area viewer reported a -26 reading Monday morning - very, very cold, but not as cold as the -32 recorded Sunday morning.
The National Weather Service said Monday's Madras low of -15 smashed the old mark for Dec. 9 of -4, set in 2009.
Record frigid temperatures had sent thermometers plummeting and pipes bursting across the High Desert late Saturday and early Sunday, though forecasters promised a warm-up to more seasonable readings over the next few days.
La Pine officially had the coldest reading in the region at minus-32 degrees early Sunday, but Redmond Airport wasn't far behind at -27 and Bend dropped to -22.
Other reports from viewers: Robert Russell recorded a -23.6 in downtown Madras, and Candace Theberge who lives "off the grid" east of Bend, at the base of Pine Mountain, said it plunged to -36. A Three Rivers resident said it dropped to -31, while a weather spotter northwest of Tumalo also reported a -36 reading.
The National Weather Service reported the wind chill reached -37 at Redmond Airport early Sunday and -31 at Bend Airport. Madras also had the same -31 wind chill reading.
Steve Pierce of Northwest Weather Consultants said the automated reporting station at Horse Ridge, off Hwy. 20 east of Bend, dropped to the state's low -- 41-below -- and Christmas Valley wasn't far behind at -39. Lakeview's -27 reading was an all-time record for that city, smashing the old mark of -22 set back in February 1933 and matched in January 1937.
West of the Cascades, Eugene dropped to -10, two degrees shy of the all-time record for Eugene, set on the same date back in 1972. Salem plunged to 8 degrees, Vancouver, Wash. to a record 9, Portland International Airport to 12 degrees and 13 degrees at Astoria.
Forecasters said a warmer air mass aloft should start to warm surface temperatures over the next few days, though the snow cover over much of Eastern Oregon "will make it a slow process."
Deschutes County 911 dispatchers reported plenty of water-flow alarms as pipes burst, a problem only expected to worsen as frozen pipes thaw in the slow warm-up.
By 7 p.m. Saturday, Redmond already had dropped to -12 degrees, Madras Airport to -11 and Bend Airport to -9. Camp Sherman was at -6, La Pine at -7 and Sisters Airport at -8. Bend dipped to -11 during the next hour before 'rising' to -report 9 at 8 p.m. -- but Redmond had dropped to -14 by then and Prineville Airport to -10, while Sisters was at -11. Bend Airport dropped to -15 at 9:35 p.m.
By 10:30 p.m. Saturday, it was -17 degrees at Bend Airport -- with a -32 wind chill.
The bitter cold snapped -- by far -- Bend's Dec. 7 record low of -5, set back in 1956, but it did not break Bend's record for a cold December night -- of -24, set back on Dec. 10 and 11 in 1972. Redmond Airport got even colder that month -- a -28 reading on Dec. 8, 1972.
Several people reported their local sub-zero readings on our Facebook page Saturday night, including Suzie Crews' report of -15 in Redmond, Trita Topelt reporting -15 in Prineville and a whopping -23 in La Pine, according to Brittany Bevel.
Jaime Hebard said it had plunged to -14 in Madras by 8:30 p.m., while Dawnita Linn said it was -22 in her northeast Redmond backyard. A -16 reading was reported by Crooked River Ranch resident Jessica Macy, while Shanee Hartford-Ostrom said it had dropped to -17 at Indian Ford in Sisters and Holly Thomas said it had fallen to -16 just off Sixth Street in La Pine.
Maggie Turner said it was -14 in Powell Butte and Haydra Kinsey reported a -10 in Tumalo.
(Check the records in your area at http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/summary/climsmor.html)
The National Weather Service on Saturday replaced its wind chill watch with a wind chill warning for a wide swath east of the Cascades, predicting wind chill values of 15 below to 25 below -- a figure later dropped to potential 30-below Saturday night.
"Those who must be outside should dress in adequate clothing and minimize exposure," forecasters warned.
On Saturday morning, for the second time in three days, a dog was reported to have fallen through the ice in the Deschutes River in northwest Bend, west of Lakeside Place, but the dog quickly made it back onto the ice, then the shore and ran off, according to unconfirmed scanner reports.
There were several more car crashes reported, though none were reported to have serious injuries. A sander reportedly "froze up" in the extreme cold and a semi that got stuck on Revere Avenue was putting on chains to get moving again.
Official lows early Saturday included 1 degree at Bend Airport and 3 at Redmond Airport. Records fell in several Eastern Oregon cities, but none were reported broken on the High Desert.
Still at noon early Saturday, under sunny, cold skies, Bend Airport was still at just 5 degrees (rising to 7 for a time, then back to 5 for much of the afternoon), Madras was at 7, Redmond Airport 6, Prineville Airport at 4 and Warm Springs was "warmer" at 14. To the south, La Pine had 5- and 6-degree readings and Sunriver Airport reported it was 5, while to the west, Tumalo was at 5 degrees,
Sisters Airport was at 9, and up at Mt. Bachelor -- where the latest storm brought a foot of welcome snow -- it was -4 at mid-mountain at noon.
For first time in its decades-long history, Saturday's Bend Christmas Parade was canceled due to frigid temperatures and wind chill readings that could approach minus-20.
Here's the full announcement:
The Downtown Bend Business Association announced at 3:00 P.M. today that it has canceled the Bend Christmas Parade scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, December 7th. Current and forecast weather forced the cancellation.
Temperatures are expected to stay in the single digits tomorrow. Combine that with increased winds and it will feel like below zero. The risk of frostbite due to exposure is just too great. Young children participating in the parade are particularly at risk.
“This is the responsible thing to do. While it saddens us to cancel the parade, we have to be mindful of safety,” said Chuck Arnold, Executive Director of the Downtown Bend Business Association.
“A great thanks goes out to Bend Christmas Parade Chair, Ernie Gilpin and the 11 committee members that have worked tirelessly to prepare the parade. We would also like to thank the hundreds of people in the community that prepared floats and who dedicated their time to help plan the event.”
Visits With Santa held at Capell’s Patio at Franklin Avenue and Wall Street are also cancelled for tomorrow. Santa will visit with children next Saturday, December 14th and Saturday, December 21st from 12:00 to 4:00 P.M.
The parade has been produced by a volunteer committee for 22 years. The Bend Metro Park and Rec District produced it before that, going back to at least 1980.