Western Oregon could use winter weather as snowpack remains well below normal

snowpack Feb. 8, 2019.png

PORTLAND, Ore. – While many may dread the upcoming snow storm, Western Oregon really needs it.

According to the Oregon Snowpack Report released Friday, a warm, dry January left most of the state with below normal snowpack levels.

Eastern Oregon has received 90 to 100 percent of its median snow water equivalent (SWE). Central Oregon has received between 73 and 76 percent of its SWE, but western Oregon has only received between 51 and 67 percent of its SWE.

“While a few more months of winter means there is still time for snowpack conditions to improve, a full snowpack recovery throughout the entire state is unlikely,” said Scott Oviatt, Snow Survey supervisory hydrologist.

Hydrologists say the lack of precipitation combined with warmer mountain temperatures are contributing to the low levels of snowpack.

Most of Oregon’s major irrigation reservoirs are storing below average amounts of water as of the end of January.

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