Our Northwest

NW drought over, snowpack looking good

Tuesday, February 2, 2016by  Jon Osterberg

Northwest skiers and farmers are cheering this winter’s mountain snowpack, a welcome contrast to last year and a little different from what El Nino typically produces.
     Oregon’s Climate Change Institute says the state’s snowpack is at or above normal, the Salem Statesman Journal reported.
     Washington ski areas also report healthy snowpack, with even Snoqualmie Summit at a relatively low 3,022 feet enjoying an 85-inch base.
     That’s a welcome surprise, because typically El Nino causes Northwest winters that are warmer and drier than usual. Atmospheric Sciences professor Cliff Mass points out that’s true mostly after January 1, with the expectation of mountain snowpack on April 1 “ending up around 80% of normal.”
     Enough precipitation already has fallen for Western Oregon to declare its drought is over. Mass declared Washington’s drought dead in his December 19 blog post.

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