Written by Ryan Niemeyer
As the temperatures begin to dip below freezing and the snow appears on the tops of the mountains in our region, it’s time to dust off the sleds and skis! That means if you care about anything to do with water – including salmon – you are tracking the snowpack. Good news is we have had an excellent start of the snow year. Looking at the map of USDA SNOTEL sites – sites where we can see real-time snowpack levels – currently the snowpack is above 200% above normal across the region! Now this is very early in the snow season. It’s like if our favorite football team is playing in the super bowl, and we just got a couple first downs – but we still have to finish the quarter, half, and the game.
Good news is, we are currently in a La Niña year, and we are projected to continue with La Niña conditions throughout the winter. La Niña means the ocean conditions along the equator of the Pacific Ocean are cooler than normal, so the Pacific Northwest gets cool and moist air coming in from polar regions. Which means more snow in our mountains. Furthermore – as of today, Friday November 12th – for the five-day snow forecast some models predict as much as 40 inches of total snowfall in parts of the Cascade mountains of Chelan and Okanogan counties! So to keep the football analogy going – our starting quarterback continues to complete passes as we finish out the first quarter.