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NW Snow Piles Up Ahead of Schedule

December 30, 2015

Oregon and Washington have above-average snowpack levels basically everywhere, according to numbers released this week.  

The color-coded maps from the National Weather Service in Portland range from light to dark blue for nearly all of Oregon and much of Washington. That means snowpack is at least 130 percent of average.  

One exception is the area just east of Portland. The Hood, Sandy, and the lower Deschutes region is just below that, at 124 percent.  

The snowpack is furthest ahead in southern Oregon, where it's at least 150 percent from the Nevada border to the Pacific, though information for much of the coast wasn't available. 

The Owyhee and Harney County areas in southeast Oregon have more than double their usual snowpack for this time of year.  

A year ago, unseasonably warm temperatures in the Northwest created very little snow. This year, it's been colder, meaning more precipitation falls as snow in the higher elevations.

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The operations crew at Mount Hood Meadows moves snow from the parking lot to the lifts and slopes. Snowpack levels are much higher than expected at this time of year thanks to a batch of heavy storms.

Jason Bernert