Outdoors

Outdoors 'Polar vortex' pushes subzero temps into Midwest 'Polar vortex' pushes subzero temps into Midwest(Photo Gallery)
The coldest, most dangerous blast of polar air in decades gripped the Midwest and pushed toward the East and South on Monday, closing schools and day care centers, grounding flights and threatening nearly instant frostbite.
Outdoors Watch: Thunderstorms light up night skies over Hawaii Watch: Thunderstorms light up night skies over Hawaii
The Canada-France-Hawaii observatory located atop the summit of the 13,800-foot Mauna Kea is there to be a "state of the art astronomical observing facility" and researchers have placed a few web cameras nearby to record the skies at night.

The observatory also posts daily time lapse videos of what their cameras caught.
Outdoors Record-setting 2013 weather: Wet, cold - and dry? Record-setting 2013 weather: Wet, cold - and dry?(Photo Gallery)
The weather couldn’t seem to make up its mind what it had in store for Oregon in 2013.

The state saw drought and the wettest September on record, as well as withering heat and sub-zero temperatures in the Willamette Valley.

An early December storm dropped several inches of snow on Corvallis and Eugene, yet snowpack levels in the nearby Cascades are well below normal.
Outdoors Can 3D snowflake photos help forecast a perfect ski day? Can 3D snowflake photos help forecast a perfect ski day?(Photo Gallery)
An Atmospheric Sciences professor at the University of Utah, who also holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington, is seeking to improve global snow forecasting through the simple act of taking photographs of snowflakes.

OK, so it's not simple. In fact, it's quite complex.
Outdoors Crater Lake National Park begins snowshoe tours Crater Lake National Park begins snowshoe tours
Ranger-guided snowshoe walks have begun at Crater Lake National Park.

The free, two-hour walks are offered at 1 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through April 27. In addition, tours will be offered daily from Thursday, Dec. 26 through Wednesday, Jan. 1. The park provides the snowshoes.
Outdoors Caves and trails east of Bend beckon during winter Caves and trails east of Bend beckon during winter(Photo Gallery)
Envy isn't healthy, but it probably best describes the feeling I used to get whenever I left Bend to recreate along Cascades Lakes Highway. As I drove along, I'd take in the houses of the lucky few who lived in developments along Bend's southwest edge, resentful of their quick access to fun.