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News Release

Snowmelt Season Underway in Oregon’s Mountains

NRCS MayWater Supply Outlook is available online


Release No. 2014.05.013


Melissa Webb, NRCS Hydrologist

Julie Koeberle, NRCS Hydrologist

Portland, Ore. (May 8, 2014) –  With the exception of northeastern Oregon, the state-wide snowpack remained below normal all winter. Peak snowpack levels for the 2013/2014 winter months were 20 to 60 percent below normal for most basins. As a result, summer streamflows are expected to be below average and water shortages are likely for many parts of Oregon.

In preparation for summer drought conditions, Governor Kitzhaber has declared a drought state of emergency for the following counties: Klamath, Harney, Lake, Malheur, Crook, and Jackson. For more information on the latest drought conditions, please refer to the drought monitor:

may2014_snowpackThe latest information on Oregon’s streamflow forecasts can be found in the Water Supply Outlook Report recently released by the USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS).

The NRCS Snow Survey is the federal program that measures snow and provides streamflow forecasts and snowpack data for communities, water managers and recreationalists across the West.  

In Oregon, snow measurements are collected from 81 SNOTEL sites, 42 manually measured snow courses, and 26 aerial markers.  Water and snowpack information for all SNOTEL sites nationwide are available on the Snow Survey Web site in a variety of formats.
The reports are updated every hour and are available on the NRCS Web site at

NRCS publishes six monthly Oregon Water Supply Outlook Reports between January 1 and June 1 every year.  Look for next month’s report from NRCS for the latest information on water supply forecasts in Oregon.

A digital copy of the May, NRCS Oregon Basin Outlook Report, can be found at the following link:

To regularly receive this information as an email announcement, contact Julie Koeberle at  or 503-414-3272 to subscribe.

Image: West-wide summer streamflow forecasts; The forecast graphic illustrates the projected May through September volumes as a percent of average at selected stream stations



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