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Snow returns to High Desert; COCC delays classes


A return to snowfall arrived like clockwork across Central Oregon early Tuesday morning, coating roads and delaying some classes in the latest bout of a snowy winter across the region.

All Central Oregon Community College classes across the region were delayed until 10 a.m., with the campuses opening at 9:30 a.m. Gilchrist School also was on a two-hour delay.

The Sisters School District, meanwhile, announced that Tuesday evening’s scheduled basketball games have been postponed until Wednesday evening.

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NewsChannel 21 Chief Meteorologist Bob Shaw said the snow began falling in “fairly heavy” fashion around 4 a.m., “right on cue,” as a National Weather Service winter storm warning took effect until 3 p.m., and it “took our nice, dry pavement and turned it into a white winter wonderland once again.”

About two inches had fallen by sunrise in Bend and there were reports already of four inches elsewhere in the city and 4-6 inches in La Pine, with snow expected to continue falling off and on much of the day.

Around 7:30 a.m., a NWS spotter five miles north-northwest of La Pine reported seven inches already had accumulated, as light snow kept falling. Meanwhile, a La Pine resident said 9-10 inches had fallen by 8 a.m.

The snow tapered off later Tuesday morning in Bend as temperatures warmed to or above freezing.

NWS forecasters had predicted 4-7 inches over much of Central Oregon, with 6-10 inches expected along the east slopes of the Cascades (such areas as La Pine, Sunriver and Sisters). And areas to the east were hit as well; a Burns resident reported eight inches of snow and roads that were a “nightmare” to navigate.

More snow was predicted in Central Oregon Tuesday night and Wednesday before temperatures warm at lower elevations, turning the dayime precipitation to rain amid blustery winds. The region is expected to dry out by the weekend.

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