Joseph Oregon Overlook Winter Panorama

Joseph Oregon on a chilly morning after a hard winter snowfall. Although the old timers remember when snow pilled up to four feet, the most Joseph seems to get now rarely accumulates beyond a foot to foot-and-a-half. This is how the place can look for much of the winter, although it's hard to say 'typically.'

wallowa mountainsThe Wallowa Mountains create a situation where precipitation varies greatly over short distances. On this occasion Enterprise, only six miles north, received less than three inches while Joseph got over a foot. Several years back, La Grande was hit with twenty inches of snow while the Joseph area hardly got a flake. Such is typical over most of eastern oregon but Joseph's proximity to the Wallowa's magnify the effect. The mountains create their own weather, and due to the direction of the prevailing winds, prevent the observer from seeing what's coming over the horizon. The popular saying 'If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes' particularly applies. Another saying the old timers like: 'Only fools and newcomers try to predict the weather in Wallowa County.'

Whenever you visit the area, you should prepare for extremes: it snowed several inches overnight one Forth of July not many years back. On this February morning it was eight below zero.

Picture narrative:
From the left, over the road an partly covered by low clouds is Bonneville Mtn, next is the large Chief Joseph Mtn, then Hurricane Divide, followed by Twin Peaks, Sawtooth Peak, Hurricane Point and the last major mountain, is Ruby Peak.