Oregon Snowpack Looks Good, Officials Hoping For Cool Weather

As we hit the home stretch of the snow season, the Oregon snowpack is in fairly good shape. Scott Oviatt with the Oregon NRCS said while there has been a slight melt off across state over the past couple of days, the statewide snowpack remains 86% of average.

He noted that much of the state has been struggling this winter, but thanks to great snow accumulations in the NE corner of the state, figures and averages look much better. And added Blue Mountains and the Wallowas have been the recipients of a majority of storms this winter.

“Both of those basins are well above average at 118% and 11% respectively.  But when we look at the southwestern portion of the state, that’s where the deficit mode is, for example, the Klamath Basin is 63% of normal.  So, it’s been a mixed signal across the board.”

Oviatt said another benefit of the current snowpack is how dense it is. He noted the peak of the snowpack typically occurs between March 15th and April 1st. And while he does not expect the snowpack to receive additional snow, he’s hopeful cool temperatures will keep the snowpack in place for several weeks to come.

“Hopefully we don’t have one of those flash springs where we have a week of 70 degrees where we lose all of our snowpack.  Because that would be detrimental for our spring and summer runoff.”

As far as the basins across Oregon are concerned:

  • Umatilla, Walla Walla, Willow is at 118% of average
  • The Grande Ronde, Powder, Burnt and Imnaha is at 111% of average
  • The John Day is 93% of average
  • The Owyhee is 93%k of average
  • The Malheur is 84% of average
  • The Harney is 83% of average
  • The Upper Deschutes, Crooked is 81% of average
  • The Lower Deschutes is 69% of average
  • And the three southwestern Oregon basins are all under 70% for this time of year.

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