Chinook Winds  

The name Chinook is used for a warm wind blowing onto Washington and Oregon bringing below freezing temperatures up to shirtsleeve type weather. This warm wind is the stuff of legends in this area. It has saved lives, and determines which plants can survive in this area. Only plants that can support freezing and thawing over many times in a winter can survive here. Indian tribes might make an tribal member rich or give them large powers as medicine men if one could predict when the next Chinook would come and ease the cold and pain of the tribe and melt the snow. You know it is a Chinook if you wake and all the deep snow is all gone overnight. It brings an ecstasy to walk at night in a Chinook in winter and feel its warmth calmly surrounding you. Temperature is usually 40 to 50 degrees since winter ocean temperature is about 50 degrees and that is the source of the wind.