Our snowpack percentage of normal has declined quite a bit the last week or so, but don’t be too concerned. Bountiful snow is coming.
Here is the latest percentage of normal snowpack from the wonderful SNOTEL website. Slightly below normal in Washington and generally near normal overall in Oregon. Below normal in Idaho.
Remember a few weeks ago when we are 400% of normal?…it couldn’t last. Climatological snowpack is increasing and we had a dry period for a while.
If you compare our snowpack to a year ago, we are actually doing much better than 2019 (2019 is left, 2020 is on the right). Hugely more this year (you are looking at SWE, Snow Water Equivalent, the depth of liquid water that resulst from melting the snowpack at a location).
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the long-range models are going for cool/wet conditions for the remainder of the winter, something consistent with the energetic La Nina we have in place.
Here is the UW WRF model accumulated snowpack for the next week….several feet of snowfall expected through 4 PM next Sunday. This will guarantee good skiing over the holiday season in the fresh air of the outdoors. Just keep away from apres-skiing libations and gatherings, and avoid crowding in lift lines (although the threat of transmission in outside air is quite low).
The biggest worry is California. Their snowpack is less than last year and models are not offering significant snow for central and southern CA during the next few weeks. La Nina years are generally poor snow years for the Golden State.