Pattee: I’m Not Worried About Drought Right Now

After a slow start to the snow season, things have rebounded very nicely in the higher elevations of Washington. According to Scott Pattee, with NRCS, the statewide snowpack is 105% of average for this time of year. He described the snowpack as healthly, thanks in part to cooler temperatures. Unlike the past couple of years, warmer weather has not been a massive problem allowing mid-elevation snow to remain.

“Precipitation has still been really good, throughout the winter.  We’re still lacking in a couple of places, but that’s more hangover from last falls very, very dry weather.  But, other than that, the mountain snowpack and the snow we should have, is in really good shape.”

How about those individual basins?

  • Upper Columbia 113%
  • Central Columbia 89%
  • Upper Yakima 90%
  • Lower Yakima 100%
  • Lower Columbia 95%
  • Spokane 105%
  • Numbers for the Lower Snake were not available

The healthy snowpack this time of year has Pattee feeling encouraged about the drought forecast as we look ahead to the spring and summer months.

“It’s a good mature snowpack, densities are about normal, which means the amount of water content within the snow, is about normal, and the depth is about normal.  As long as we can maintain those kinds of numbers, then the snow should melt off at a normal rate.”

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