Portland, Oregon recorded a record low temperature of -2 °F (-18 °C) on January 15, 1888. The Oregonian reported on the mark the next day under the headline COLD WEATHER:
It is seldom that the temperature in Western Oregon and Western Washington falls to the point indicated as zero on the Fahrenheit scale.
Much of the rest of the country at the time, however, was much much colder.
This is severe weather – unless it be compared with that beyond the Rocky mountains – when it becomes really quite endurable. We hear, and probably shall hear, of no one perishing with cold – a happy contrast to the terrible record that is coming from Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Dakota and Montana.
Portland’s low temperature record would not be surpassed until February, 1950, when the thermometer dropped to -3 °F. The -2 °F low was also matched in January, 1986.