Oregon Snowpack Pt 2

Oregon Snowpack Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. A mild winter and the resulting lack of snow in the mountains has left many parts of Oregon at or near drought conditions for the coming summer months ahead.

USDA snow survey hydrologist Julie Koeberle says having a good snowpack is like money in the bank for farmers ...

KOEBERLE ... "We like to tell folks that we think of snowpack as a frozen reservoir of water to be used later for Spring and Summer. And, it affects livelihoods of farmers and folks that are irrigating for water supply. They're the folks that really are likely to see shortages for their irrigation and water supply."

Koeberle says the bad news has been officially delivered in two counties ...

KOEBERLE ... "Klamath and Baker counties are the two that have been officially declared in drought by Governor Kate Brown. So, it is very much a red flag for them already and they're realizing that they're likely to see shortages."

With Washington's snowpack at good levels, I asked Koeberle if she sees this kind of north-south divide very often ...

KOEBERLE ... "You know, I haven't seen it just across the border be so drastic to where Washington's doing decent for snowpack and Oregon's just well below normal. I have seen other years where eastern Oregon versus Western Oregon, one side or the other will have a tendency sometimes to do slightly better than the other side."

Koeberle says right now about 60 percent of their snow monitoring sights are completely snow-free, compared to 45 percent in a typical May.

40 percent of Oregon is now under moderate drought status with a warmer, drier summer forecast for Summer.

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