The rapid melt off of the Washington snowpack continues. NRCS’ Scott Pattee said the statewide snowpack has dropped to 50% of normal, well below the 78% of average reported just two weeks ago. Pattee told the Washington Ag Network the unseasonably warm temperatures the Northwest has experienced for nearly two months has led to high stream flows.
“You know, I want to say that we’re a month ahead of time we really should not be hitting peak stream flows until like between now and about mid-May to the first of June, and really we saw peak stream flows in the month of April.”
Pattee said for regions of the state that stores water, such as the Yakima Valley and the portions of the Columbia, this early runoff will not be a large scale problem. But he is very concerned for the rest of the Northwest.
“Every day that goes by that we’re not getting normal rainfall, and you know like for the whole month of April and so far this month, it’s becoming a concern. We really do rely on those spring rains to help buffer things out and help drag out the snowpack and the water supply.”
Pattee said the cooler and wetter weather over the past couple of days will help slowdown the area melt off, but he’s quick to note Northwest weather has returned to a more normal pattern.
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