A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Oregon weather: A question of latitude

Written December 20th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

It was a question of latitude, more or less. And of time, and of where weather systems go in Oregon when they come from the southwest.

On Sunday I was riding the bike in Jacksonville outside of Medford. The weather was cool but clear and partly sunny, sunny enough for people to check out the horse-drawn carriage rides they have there in the Christmas season.

In the background, the historic Jackson County courthouse, now the city hall of Jacksonville.

Then we got on the freeway to go north, heading for Albany. And before long, right around Sutherlin, the storm caught up with us.

By the time we were barreling toward the Highway 34 exit of I-5 at 4 p.m., some of the fields near the freeway were under water, and through the windshield the highway looked like this:

In little more than three hours on the road, we had come from 42 degrees north to a point nearly three degrees farther north. Not much, as far as the globe is concerned, but enough to put us in a different weather zone.

The point? Well, I just wanted an excuse to use those shots. (hh)

The original version of this item mixed up the coordinates of Jacksonville, Ore., with those of Jacksonville, Fla. The numbers didn’t look right but I ignored it. Lesson: Don’t look stuff up late at night when you’re bleary-eyed.

7 responses to “Oregon weather: A question of latitude”

  1. HowlingCicada says:

    Newsflash — Albany, Oregon journalist makes 3117-mile trip home from Jacksonville, Florida in “little more than three hours on the road,” handily beating Jeremy Clarkson’s (“Top Gear”) self-claimed 240 mph. ;-)

    Easy trick I use to find geographical coordinates: Click on the spot in Google Maps. The coordinates will appear in a box at the bottom of the page. Click again if it doesn’t work. Negative longitude = western hemisphere.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Right. I should have checked when the numbers didn’t look right.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      Pedantic correction: Negative longitude = west of the prime meridian through 180 degrees, thereby including parts of the eastern hemisphere as well as almost all of the western hemisphere.

  2. CHEZZ says:

    *LOL Humor, so welcomed!! Jacksonville, such a sweet spot on our Oregon map. I would say ‘gee, the rain’s coming down’. Mother’s reply ‘well, it ain’t goin’ up’!

  3. Bill Kapaun says:

    15 degrees is 1 time zone (360/24) or about 1000 miles, since the earth is about 25,000 miles circumference.
    Somethings wrong with the math.

  4. James Engel says:

    You are one informative reporter!


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