SALEM, Ore. – If winter weather doesn’t arrive soon, Oregon could be facing a summer drought.
The Statesman Journal reported this has been one of the warmest winters on record in Salem, the capital city. That has meant rain instead of snow in the Cascade Range, where snowpack is 35 to 40 percent of normal.
Snowpack forecasts are used by farmers to see how much irrigation water they can expect, utilities to plan for hydroelectric plant outputs, and fisheries managers for conditions facing salmon as they migrate out to sea and back upriver to spawn.
Statistics show Oregon has gotten 88 percent of its usual precipitation but just 40 percent of its typical snowfall.
The same trend was present in 2014 and 2015 before snowier winters arrived the following two years.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.