GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. -- Oregon appears to be on track for a normal water year, according to scientists who study the Mt. Hood snowpack.
A team conducted the monthly snow survey Thursday and recorded 32 inches of new snow since Monday at their tracking site near Timberline Lodge.
Monday’s big storm helped bring snowpack levels back up to normal for the year.
Julie Koeberle and Melissa Webb are hydrologists and work for the federal government. They snowshoed into the secret measuring site in the woods near Timberline on Thursday, along with reporters, to verify what their instruments had told them through telemetry.
They rammed a hollow tube into the snow until they hit dirt. That gave them a measurement of the latest snowpack at that site.
Weighing the snow also tells them how much water is it. They found 110 inches of snow, which would create 38 inches of water.
“That’s about 88 percent of normal, so still below normal for this site. However, basin-wide where Portland gets their water is out of this water shed and some of our higher elevations are at 110 percent of normal,” Koeberle explained. “So that’s really good, in fact that’s the highest in the state.”
She added that January is an important month for snow fall and the recent snowstorm really helped.
Photos: Getting the Mt Hood snow survey