Snowpack in first week of 2019 sits below average

New snow glistens on evergreens near Cooper Spur ski area on the north side of Mount Hood, which opened Dec. 26, one of its earliest in memory.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
New snow glistens on evergreens near Cooper Spur ski area on the north side of Mount Hood, which opened Dec. 26, one of its earliest in memory.



The National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration and Mt. Hood Meadows report moderate amounts of snow on Mount Hood as of Jan. 7.

Meadows reported a 106-inch snow total Monday, with a 64-inch base.

The National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration’s Snotel test site, in Clackamas County, records 68 inches at the 5,400-foot level.

This compares to 60 inches at the same time a year ago, and 50 inches in 2017. This puts this snow-water equivalent (SWE) at 19.8 inches — 69 percent of average. The 68-inch depth at the site compare to 60 at the same time a year ago, and 50 inches in 2017.

The pack has ranged from 20 inches in 2015 and 103 inches in 2000.

SWE is a measurement of the amount of water contained within the snowpack. SWE can be thought of as the depth of water that would theoretically result if the entire snowpack melted instantaneously.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service measures SWE at many remote Snotel sites and uses the data for streamflow forecasting.

Scientists and recreationists are also interested in snow depth in addition to SWE.



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