It’s not your imagination: Oregon has received a ton of rain and snow this winter.
The deluge of precipitation is the most the Beaver State has seen since 2008, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The result has been frequent headaches including flooding and roads snarled by snow. But the upside, said water managers, is an improved forecast for river levels, reservoir storage and forest and wildlife health this summer.
It also raises hopes that Oregon will break the cycle of three straight summers plagued by drought.
“It’s still early in the season and there are many factors that could change the water supply picture for the spring and summer,” said Scott Oviatt, NRCS snow survey supervisory hydrologist. “However, based on the current mountain conditions, the streamflow forecasts are calling for near-average to above-average summer streamflows during the water supply season.”
Oregon’s snowpack is 126 percent of normal, as of Feb. 14, while its precipitation is 123 percent of normal. Neither are record-breaking, but it’s the most water the state has seen since the same date in 2008.
Last year, Oregon had above average snowpack during winter, but a boiling hot spring melted the snow at a record pace, throwing the state into drought during a hotter-than-average summer.