Oregon’s snowpack is getting a much-needed boost statewide, thanks to a recent wave of winter storms that since the beginning of February have dumped several feet of new snow in the Cascade Range, including 3 feet on Mount Hood and 2 feet near Crater Lake National Park.
The entire state has seen a 20 to 30 percent bump in snowpack and 2 to 3 times the normal precipitation since Feb. 1, said Julie Koeberle, a hydrologist with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. That is contrary to the long-term weather forecast, which called for warmer and drier conditions across the Pacific Northwest.
“I’m not sure we saw this increase coming,” Koeberle said. “It was really a pleasant surprise.”
As of Feb. 15, Oregon’s total snowpack was 93 percent of average, compared to 73 percent at the end of January and a paltry 40 percent at this time last year.
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