The snowpack in Oregon is well below where is should be for this time of year. Scott Oviatt with NRCS said the statewide snowpack is 66% of average. Currently the Umatilla-Walla Walla Basin is at 80% of average while the Grande Ronde, Powder, Burnt, Imnaha Basin is currently 78% of average.
He noted while the snowpack across NE Oregon is below normal, “It’s poised much better than the remainder of the state, and do have a good opportunities. The forecasts are showing expected near normal stream flows during the summer and spring.”
While the water situation is not good for dryland growers, Oviatt said those that have access to irrigation don’t need to be concerned at this point.
“Most reservoirs are near average in terms of storage and they are hoping to store more as the spring progresses. But if you need surface water or you’re reliant purely on intercepted rain or snow, you should start to plan for potential water shortages.”
As you move south the snowpacks worsen. The Klamath and Owyhee are both under 50% for this time of year.
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