PENDLETON - The light snow that fell on the Lower Columbia Basin Tuesday afternoon has proven more beauty than beast.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service Forecast Office measured three-tenths of an inch of snow at 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Pendleton airport.
About the same amount fell in the Hermiston area, beginning late Tuesday afternoon and continuing into the evening.
"Nobody got enough snowfall that they sent in special reports on it," forecaster Diann Coonfield said this morning. "Most places got less than an inch. Hermiston got more than we did."
Umatilla County Sheriff John Trumbo said his department dealt with only one weather-related accident. Deputies responded to a one-vehicle rollover causing minor injuries near the Space Age Travel Center about 5 p.m. Tuesday, he said. Space Age is near the intersection of Interstate 84 and Highway 207.
The Hermiston Police log reported 10 minor accidents in the past 24 hours, including two in which the driver left the scene.
Calls to the Oregon State Police in Hermiston were not returned in time for this story.
Ron Sivey, Hermiston street superintendent, said the light snowfall hasn't caused a panic.
"It's not real bad," Sivey said this morning. "We've got sander trucks out ... . As long as it stays cold like this, we'll be in pretty good shape."
Sivey expects street conditions to become worse when the ice and snow on the streets begin to thaw.
In the meantime, he cautioned drivers to be sensible, slow down and take their time.
"That's what people have to understand," he said. "They just can't be in a hurry, like they are normally."
Coonfield said weather forecasters expect a few snow flurries in the mountains today, but not in the basin. Daytime highs are expected to be about 30 degrees in Pendleton and Hermiston, but reaching just 26 at Meacham. Overnight lows are expected to remain in the upper teens in the basin and below 10 degrees in the mountains.
Forecasters also predict areas of freezing fog at night and in the early morning hours through Friday in the basin, she said.