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Snow(less)pack: Months Of Warm Weather Leave Their Mark On The Cascades


Jonathan Jost skis with his dog Tessa near the Gold Lake Sno Park west of Willamette Pass east of Oakridge. Snowpack in the area is about half of normal for this time of year.

Jonathan Jost skis with his dog Tessa near the Gold Lake Sno Park west of Willamette Pass east of Oakridge. Snowpack in the area is about half of normal for this time of year.

Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard

Wintry weather in late February and early March wasn’t enough to raise the Western Oregon mountain snowpack to near normal.

A cycle of warm and dry weather in December, January and early February left the Cascades east of Eugene with a low snowpack, said Julie Koeberle, a snow hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Portland. Recent snowy weather in higher elevations has helped, but as of Friday the Willamette Basin snowpack still was only 66 percent of normal. This time last year, the basin’s snowpack was at 154 percent.

Spring starts March 20, and the window to receive more mountain snow is closing fast. “Once we start moving into March, we don’t have much time left,” Koeberle said, “but we have some.”

Federal climate forecasters are calling for the next three months to be cooler than average in much of Oregon, she said, which might result in some snow this spring.

Read the whole story at The Register-Guard.

 

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