With plenty of seasonal rain and enough mountain snow to bury a giraffe, the Western U.S. is quickly getting back on its feet after years of drought that drained reservoirs and dried up rivers, lakes, and streams.
Experts like state climatologist Larry O’Neill, who chairs Oregon’s Drought Monitor Advisory Committee, say that these less severe drought conditions were put in place because there is a lot of snow on the mountains in the West.
Andy Bryant, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, said that the snowpacks keep summer water supplies going and make streams better for wildlife.
Even though most of Oregon is still in some drought, things are getting better because the Oregon Cascades are still getting more than 1.5 times their average annual snowpack. But how does Oregon’s snowpack compare to the rest of the West?
The U.S. Forest Service snow depth map shows that many mountain ranges in the West have 10 to 20 feet or more of snow, but it’s unclear which areas have the most snow.
A List of some of the deepest snowpacks recorded in the West using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s automated snow monitoring sites to determine which state has the most snow.
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- Mt Hood: 15.5 feet
- Upper McKenzie River in the Willamette National Forest: 14.8 feet
- Crater Lake: 14.3 feet
- Taylor Butte, Willamette National Forest: 11.1 feet
- Little Meadows south of Detroit Lake: 11 feet
- Mount St. Helens: 18 feet
- Mount Rainier 15.5 feet
- Easy Pass, North Cascades: 13.9 feet
- Surprise Lakes: 10.75 feet
- White Pass Ski Area: 10.5 feet
- Leavitt Lake: 21.7 feet
- Meadow Lake: 21.6 feet
- Lake Tahoe: 19 feet
- Burnt Corral Meadows: 17.4 feet
- Gianelli Meadow: 17.4 feet
- Bear Mountain: 22 feet
- Elk Butte: 19.8 feet
- Franklin Basin: 18.9 feet
- Chocolate Gulch: 13.5 feet
- Lost Lake 11.8 feet
- Big Creek Peak: 16.5 feet
- Mt. Rose Ski Area: 15.4 feet
- Hole in the Mountain Peak: 9.4 feet
- Granite Peak: 9 feet
- Pearl Peak: 8.8 feet
- Alta Basin: 19.6 feet
- Clear Creek: 18.3 feet
- Monte Cristo: 16.6 feet
- Farmington: 16.5 feet
- Buck Flat: 16.2 feet
1 thought on “The Battle of the Snowpack: Oregon vs. the Rest of the West”
I have lived in Oregon for 79 years and have seen Cycles of weather changes throughout the years. When ‘Man’ thinks they can control Mother Nature, Mother Nature strikes back! I was taught that our weather would change as the ‘tilt of the earth changes ’!
When I was a kid, we had lots of Snow in the winter, then in the late ’60’s early ‘70’s , we had a lot of Snow again. The difference now is, ‘Man’ thinks they can change ‘Mother Nature’, and that will never happen.
Now they wast millions of tax payers dollars creating all these ‘Jobs’ for bureaucrats and ‘Mother Nature’ is going to ‘Win Out’ every time!
These ‘Weather Changes’ have been going on for decades and decades and during all of these decades, ‘fish’ still come up or rivers and we still have fish to eat! And if one species of fish dye out, ‘Mother Nature’ will supply us with another species!
But, that is what is going on, bureaucratic think they need to ‘control man’ and not believing ‘Mother Nature’ will take care of us ‘just fine’!