Snowpack on Mount Hood below average

Snowpack on Mount Hood below average

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by Keely Chalmers, KGW staff

kgw.com

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 28 at 7:58 AM

TIMBERLINE LODGE -- After recent heavy rains and warm weather,  the snow pack on Mount Hood has dropped below average.

Federal hydrologists conducted their second snow survey of the season at a test site just below Timberline Lodge.

It is a trip made four times a year scientists measure the depth of the snow and how much water it holds.

Last month snow-pack at the site was 106 percent of average. But readings on Thursday show it's now only 78 percent of average.

Hydrologist Jon Lea said the rain storms that caused the Sandy River to wash-away a road also washed away some of the snow.

"A lot of our stations at the lower elevations lost the entire snow-pack that was there. . . . from pass level down, a lot of that snow disappeared during that rain on snow event," said Lea.

The West gets about three-quarters of the water supply from snow melt.

Lea said state-wide Oregon's snow-pack is about 83% of average.

He pointed out that it is still early in the season with more winter storms likely.

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