Central Oregon residents woke up Wednesday morning to historic levels of snow.
Not since 1993 has so much snow piled up in the region in January.
The National Weather Service in Pendleton recorded 24 inches of snowpack Wednesday at its official reporting location at the Bend Public Works Department on U.S. Highway 20 near Pilot Butte. That amount broke the Jan. 11 snow-depth record, which was 16 inches on Jan. 11, 1993.
A couple miles outside of Bend, the weather service reported snow-depths between 28 and 32 inches. Daily records are not kept at those locations.
“A few locations could very well be at record depths for January,” meteorologist Mike Murphy said. “We don’t have records for every location.”
Sunriver had 44 inches of snow on the ground, the most recorded in the High Desert on Wednesday.
Besides snow depth, this season is mirroring the harsh winter of 1992-93 in snowfall amounts.
A total of 89.6 inches of snow fell between December 1992 and March 1993, according to the weather service. From the beginning of the winter season in 1992 through January 1993, Bend had 61.5 inches of snow.
So far this snow season, Bend has seen 57.4 inches of snow.
For this winter to surpass 1992-93, Murphy said, snow will have to keep falling in February and March. About 16 inches of snow fell in February 1993 and 11.4 inches fell in March 1993.
“We will have to see if we keep getting snow into February and March like we had that year,” Murphy said.
The city of Bend is continuing to clear residential streets of the heavy snow. Arterials and collectors had been cleared by Wednesday morning, but Bend Communications Director Anne Aurand said in a statement that it would take more than a day to finish clearing residential streets.
— Reporter: 541-617-7820,