UPDATE: FEB. 19THThe drought monitor site stated today that snowpacks in Washington, Oregon, California and Utah are in the bottom 5% of historical reporting.
UPDATE: FEB. 20TH
Current Oregon Snowpack as percentage of historical average
(Our home county of Deschutes stands at 17%)
UPDATE: MAR. 2ND
The forecast snowstorm just left a fraction of what was predicted. 9″ of snow in the high country when 12″-16″ were predicted. After a cold night tomorrow (March 3rd), temperatures are predicted to soar into the 60s for the near future. This last storm may have been the last gasp of winter and any hopes for a significantly increased snowpack. Portland, Oregon just had its warmest February in recorded weather history.
UPDATE: MAR. 20th
The first day of spring finds the local Deschutes River basin at 9% of normal snowpack, called “dismal”. Last year at this time the snowpack was 54% of normal. They just opened Century Drive from near Lava Lake to Elk Lake, over a month early. To the south, the Klamath basin is sitting at 6% and has declared drought status for the fourth straight year. Crook County, to the immediate east of Bend, has also declared drought status.
Although the central Oregon reservoirs will fill this spring, water levels will be in deep trouble by August. Low water means high water temperatures, distressed fish (especially when you hook and fight one), weed-choked waters with low dissolved oxygen, fish parasites and diseases, and grumpy fisher folks.
Pray for snow! April can make or break a water year, so there is still hope.