Vancouver's low of 9 degrees sets Dec. 8 record

It was first single-digit temp at Pearson station since '98

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

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The temperature has dropped to record-setting levels the past couple of days — but that's not the full extent of our cold snap, according to Steve Pierce, The Columbian's weather blogger.

It got really cold — by Vancouver standards — with a low of 9 degrees on Sunday. It was a record for Dec. 8, Pierce said.

It was the first single-digit temperature reading at the National Weather Service's reporting station at Pearson Airport since Dec. 23, 1998.

It followed another record low on Saturday, when the temperature got down to 12, setting a Vancouver mark for Dec. 7.

Sunday was the fourth day in a row in which the daytime high has been below freezing. That marks a significant cold spell, said Pierce, president of the Oregon chapter of the American Meteorological Society.

That hasn't happened since a four-day span in 2008, on Dec. 20, 21, 22 and 23, said Pierce, who operates Northwest Weather Consultants.

If today's high doesn't top 32 degrees, it would be the fifth day in a row without getting above freezing in Vancouver. That hasn't happened in 23 years, since December 1990.

With warmer temperatures in this week's forecast, we won't get close to Vancouver's record stretch of days at or below 32 degrees. That mark was set back in December 1924, when the mercury stayed below 32 degrees for 11 days in a row: Dec. 17 through Dec. 27.

Even when the cold snap eases, its impact won't be over. There were many reports of water leaks on Sunday, as frozen water burst plumbing.

Right now, the water in some burst pipes is still frozen solid, Pierce said. When those pipes thaw, they'll flood too.