The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have published a document titled Oregon Basin Outlook Report for 2017.
Storm systems during February pummeled the Pacific Northwest, dumping several new feet of snow in Oregon’s mountains. Rain on snow during multiple atmospheric river events caused rivers to rise rapidly in Western Oregon resulting in flooding and landslides in some areas. These powerful storms brought record high February precipitation and more than double the normal snow accumulation at numerous measurement sites. Oregon snowpack conditions were essentially unfazed by rain on snow events, and remain above normal throughout the entire state as of the first of March. Streamflow forecasts mirror these conditions and continue to predict well above average spring and summer streamflows.
The long range climate outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is expecting above normal precipitation for the next three months: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov. As storm systems show no signs of stopping anytime soon, confidence is increasing that Oregon is leaning towards an adequate water supply season. However, water users should be aware that temperatures later in the spring and weather patterns over the next few months will play a major role in shaping the final snowpack season and water supply picture.