Oregon Remains Dry With Slightly Below Average Snowpack

According to the latest numbers from NRCS, the statewide snowpack for Oregon is not too far below average for this time of year, coming in a 87%. And while that’s not bad, the state continues to struggle with very dry conditions. Scott Oviatt with Oregon’s NRCS said while the state is getting snow, most of the state was extremely dry in the later portions of 2020.

“62% of Oregon is in D-2 drought or greater, so that means that we’re very dry.  We’ve been dry, historically from last year as well as throughout the summer and into the fall.  So, to mitigate that we’re going to need to see some storm impacts and really be above medium value for snowpack and above average precipitation.  And thus far, we have not seen that.”

When it comes to those individual basins, Oviatt said NE Oregon continues to be a trend setter. But neighboring basins are reporting better numbers as well.

“The John Day basin is also doing very well.  As well as the upper Deschutes and Crooked basins.  So, essentially, that northeast third of Oregon.  Is doing rather well in terms of snowpack accumulation.  But it remains to be seen how the storm paths and the trends are going to be as we move into the spring months.”

As far as the individual basins are concerned:

  • The Grande Ronde, Powder, Burnt, Imnaha is 93% of average
  • The Umatilla, Walla Walla, Willow is 95% of average
  • The John Day is 99% of average
  • The Malhuer is 93% of average
  • The Harney is 108% of average
  • The Owyhee is 72% of average
  • The Lake County, Goose Lake is 88% of average
  • The Upper Deschutes, Crooked is 96% of average
  • The Hood, Sandy, Lower Deschutes is 81% of average
  • The Willamette is 82% of average
  • The Rogue, Umpqua is 83% of average

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