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GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. Snowpack is at 99% of normal in the Oregon Cascades, but other parts of the state are lagging behind, according to results of tests taken on the mountain Thursday.

More than two feet of fresh snow brought in by the latest storm certainly didn t hurt the test results. But it did make snowshoeing into the test site significantly harder.

Jon Lea has conducted the Mt. Hood tests since 1976. He stabs a tube into the snowpack in the same spot every month and documents the results.

In the last ten days, we ve had an increased snow pack across the state of about 10 percent, he explained. Looking at all the telemetry sites on Mt. Hood, we re at about 94%, which is the best in the state.

Those numbers calculate to 99% of normal, Lea said, which is also a great sign for future runoff potential.

It ranges from a high of snowpack right around here to a low of 53 percent in Harney County, he said. So again, Oregon is kind of a split.

Lea added that there was also still more potential for 20% more snowpack to build up before the end of the season.

Around this time last year, Lea s measurements put Mt. Hood snowpack below average.

Background: Jan 2011 snow survey on Mt. Hood

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