A snowplow scrapes packed snow and ice from a parking lot as clouds lift briefly to reveal Mount Hood with a fresh coat of snow from winter-like storms that passed through the state near Government Camp, Ore., Oct. 2, 2013.

A snowplow scrapes packed snow and ice from a parking lot as clouds lift briefly to reveal Mount Hood with a fresh coat of snow from winter-like storms that passed through the state near Government Camp, Ore., Oct. 2, 2013.

Don Ryan/AP

Scientists say the snowpack in northwest Oregon and the central Cascades decreased as much as eight inches after warm rain earlier this week fell at high elevations.

“This decline in snowpack is not something we want to see,” said Julie Koeberle, a hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The snowpack in northwest Oregon is 27 percent of normal near Mount Hood and 42 percent of normal around Bend, Ore., she said.

“Some of that is settling (snow), but a lot of it actually is melting because there’s not a lot of snow to begin with,” Koeberle said.

Building up snowpack in the winter is critical, because it’s a source of water farmers and wildlife during the summer.

The National Weather Service said it’s expected to turn colder later this week, which could bring snow to lower elevations.