Mount Hood Snowpack Brings Bad News | 101 KXL

Mount Hood Snowpack Brings Bad News

Written by Brett Reckamp on December 31, 2013
mt hood snowpack

Photo:  Don Ryan

Hydrologists have completed their snow survey for Mt Hood and say we are well below average.  Here is the latest message and results from the NRCS Oregon Snow Survey.

At the Mount Hood snow course, we measured 12.4 inches of water content and the snow was 28 inches deep. This 12.4 inches of water stored in the snowpack today is 40% of normal. This shallow snow was quite firm and seemed like a snowpack that we would see in June.

Our manual snow course is only measured once per month and the Mt. Hood SNOTEL site is measured hourly. Both snow measurements show that the snowpack is 40% of normal today. We have 7 other SNOTEL site in the Mt. Hood area. Grouped together as a whole, they are measuring 23% of normal snowpack. That means that this particular site is relatively in the best shape.

We’ve had other low water years: 1981, 1990, 2005. Just to clarify, these water years begin October 1 and end September 30th, so water year 2005 begins in 2004. This particular 2005 water year was the lowest on record for the entire season. On the other end of the spectrum, water year 1990 had a slow start to the snow season and by late January, the snowpack climbed its way from the doldrums to well above normal. In a nutshell, we have 50% of our snow season left. History has shown us that we can still recover at this point, but we can also remain below normal for the season.

To compare, last year on this date, we measured 93 inches of snow depth.

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