Of the Baker City Herald

Maybe the Easter Bunny can rent Santas sleigh.

Better that than hopping through several inches of slush with a heavy load of chocolate and jelly beans.

A snowstorm reminiscent of January swept into Baker County this morning, weighing down limbs that only recently displayed the first buds of spring.

A foot of snow fell along Ore. Highway 204 at Tollgate, and nearly that much along Interstate 84 near Meacham.

Heavy snow fell at Ladd Canyon, as well, but slightly higher temperatures there kept the roadway wet, said Shannon Ficken at the Oregon Department of Transportation office in La Grande.

No highways were closed, nor were chains required on any route, she said.

People are getting through, Ficken said. They just need to take it slow and easy.

Were hoping the Easter Bunny can find his way through.

Oregon State Police in Baker City had an advantage over others traveling the snowy roadways today.

The police agency is exempt from the state law that required other residents to remove studded snow tires by April 1, according to Pam Smith, office specialist. A Tuesday night forecast of 9 to 11 inches of snow prompted OSP to return studded tires to three of its patrol cars to be used as needed.

Although winter usually has expended its wrath by the first of April, snow isnt especially rare during the month.

On average, about 1 inches of snow falls at the Baker City Municipal Airport in April.

The snowiest April on record was in 1969, when 7.2 inches fell at the airport much of it in the last week of the month.

To the bunnys benefit, todays snow isnt likely to last long.

The National Weather Service says Thursday will be warmer and dry, with highs between 40 and 50.

More precipitation is possible Friday and Saturday, but it should stay liquid at lower elevations, with high temperatures in the mid 50s.

True spring-like weather is forecast for Sunday through Tuesday, with clear skies and high temperatures in the mid 60s.