Even driving in his beefy Jeep Cherokee, Tyler Hammann could barely make it over the snowy roads in Sunriver to get to work Tuesday morning.
“I was in four-wheel drive,” he said, “and I was sliding all over the place.”
Hammann, a 26-year-old baker at Hot Lava Baking & Coffee Co., said the piles of snow in Sunriver this past week are the most he has seen since moving to town in 1999.
He’s right. With 37 inches (and counting) on the ground Tuesday, Sunriver has seen the most snow accumulation in Central Oregon this winter. “And it’s still snowing,” Hammann said.
Other cities around the region are just as inundated with snow. All of the High Desert is reaching record snow depths for January, according to the National Weather Service in Pendleton. Many of the records date back more than 20 years.
“We are getting pretty close to the extreme amount for January,” Meteorologist Dennis Hull said. “We are flirting with some record territory, there.”
Bend set a Jan. 10 snow accumulation record Tuesday with 20 inches on the ground, an inch more than what was recorded on Jan. 10, 1993.
Many longtime locals in Bend compare the massive snowfall this winter to the historic winter of 1992-93. That winter has served as the benchmark for this snowy season.
Most snow depth records for in Bend were set in January 1993.
With another foot of snow expected by the end of today, Hull expects Bend to break more of those 1993 snow-depth records.
Snow could pile up to more than 25 inches today — and meet Bend’s all-time January day record.
“If tomorrow ends up with a snow depth of more than 25 inches, it looks like it could be in that arena,” Hull said Tuesday. “We will see what happens.”
Redmond is also shattering record snow-depth amounts from 1993. The city had 15 inches of snow on the ground Tuesday, well above the 12 inches that accumulated Jan. 10, 1993.
Official snow-depth totals have not come in for Madras or Prineville, but it does not take a meteorologist to tell residents in Crook and Jefferson counties that the snowfall is approaching record-breaking depths.
Joleigh Creason, an administrative assistant at Lutheran Community Services Northwest in Prineville, commutes from her home in Madras each workday. On Tuesday, the ride was not too snowy until she got a couple miles south of Madras, she said.
“The snow is terrible here,” she said.
A Central Oregon native, Creason does not remember a snowier winter.
“The thing is, I was born and raised in Redmond, and I can’t remember the last time it was like this,” she said.
For those tired of shoveling and digging their cars of out parking spots, the weather service is expecting dry weather and no snow later this week. While it may stop snowing for a few days, the cold temperatures will likely leave the mounds of snow on the ground.
Hull expects to start seeing record snow-depth totals come in today from official weather service reporting sites around the region.
“It depends on how much compaction there is with the snow underneath and the snow that falls,” he said.
When Sunriver residents went to bed Monday night, there was 22 inches of snow on the ground. They woke up with 15 inches of fresh snow. It was the largest accumulation the city has ever seen in one day.
At the Hot Lava bakery, Hammann was not surprised it was quiet.
“We only had a couple people, but it is what it is,” he said.
— Reporter: 541-617-7820,