While not at panic levels at this point, the snowpack, or lack of, in Oregon is concerning. According to the NRCS, the statewide snowpack average is 56%. When you look at individual basins, Scott Oviatt with the NRCS said the basins in the southern part of the state have fared better, thanks to storm systems landing along the California/Oregon border.
“It’s relatively dry across the entire state due to the very warm, dry November. No particular basin, with the exception of the Owyhee which is at 79% of average [moisture level]. But most of the basins are at 65% of normal [moisture level], or less.”
Oviatt noted it’s still too early to panic, adding that it would be better to slowly return to average over several weeks or month. Too much snow at one time is not good as well.
“Then you’re looking at potential for overwhelming the system, with flooding for instance then you benefits are limited too, because you get a quick wash in the system and it doesn’t retain itself.”
Oviatt added November and December are when Oregon’s mountains see the lion share of snow, making this water year even more discouraging.
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