Heavy snow the last two weeks, including more than 60 inches at Timberline Lodge, has pushed Oregon's snowpack to near normal across most areas. Overall, the snowpack is in much better shape than one year ago. Using Mt. Hood as a comparison, the first week of 2011 had a snowpack of 54 percent of normal. This year, the snowpack stands at 82 percent of normal on Oregon's highest point. The map below shows snowpack zones as a percentage of normal to date.
Summer streamflow forecasts are already being calculated and project normal to above river conditions. Keep in mind, the snowpack is measured through May 1st. We still have lots of weather to get through before we claim this winter's snowfall a success. The Mt. Hood test site currently has an 88 inch snow depth that would melt into 26.5 inches of water. The season average is 65 inches of runoff at the end of April. Obviously we still have a way to go. At this time, forecast charts show little snow the remainder of January. Last year, saw Mt. Hood snowfall between March and April drop more than 200 inches, making a big finish to the season.
KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill