Snowpack Worst Since 2015

Photo courtesy of Bill Goodman (Snow Surveyor, USFS Lakeview)

The snow year started with high hopes when cooler weather brought early snow to the Cascades, but December has erased much of that hope. 

The snowpack is 50% or less throughout the entire state of Oregon.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service issued a report:

Winter started off looking very promising. October and November storms brought unusual amounts of early season snow to the mountains, allowing winter recreation to begin well ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, the mountains experienced a warming trend with significant rainfall during late November and again in late December, causing snow melt instead of accumulation.

As of January 1st, snowpack conditions range from 42% in the Owyhee, Malheur and John Day basins up to 59% of normal in the Umatilla, Walla Walla and Willow Basins. January 1st is still considered early in the snowpack accumulation season and there are several months left for conditions to sway in a more positive direction. In other similar years where the snowpack got off to a slow start in December, the state achieved a near normal amount of snow by the first of April around 40% of the time. January and February are key months for snowpack accumulation, so stay tuned to see how the winter of 2018 will unfold. 


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