Western Snowpack Data

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by ScottP, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Clearly these guys aren't out checking Stevens Pass. I wonder if they'll be able to open Highway 20 on schedule this year?
  2. Nice links guys; lots of ways to mine data from that site. Another option - go here http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/gis/snow.html then drop down to "Basin filled maps" and select the state you want to see, or do "West-wide" to get a snapshot of the entire region


  3. Hi Alex-the latest edition of the Methow Valley News had an article about Hwy 20. There is about 65% of the snow depth over the road as last year and the year before. They are going to start plowing March 25 and anticipate a May 1 opening, but possibly before that in time for the lake opener. Rick
  4. Keep your fingers crossed Rick! Stevens is getting dumped on as I write, and they expect plenty more in the next few days. We got about 4 inches here at the house, but it's raining now.
  5. Have tracked snotel sites for years. Something that I have noticed that the newer locations seem to have more snow as compared to their average than the older sites.

    As the last few days have shown the mountains can still pile up significant amounts of snow for a few weeks more.

  6. This is the 5th spring in a row during which we seem to gain snowpack rather than lose it. Good for the water supply in Aug-Sep, but means high alpine creek season is short.
  7. Yes I've noticed this aswell, It has taken a couple years to ajust my vegetable planting schedule with these cold wet springs, but it is good for fish so I'll take it.
  8. Some nice graphic results here. I've always just looked at the tabular results, which are specific and detailed, but clunky when you just want to get an impression of what the snow pack looks like regionally.

    I take a mid-March trip over Stevens Pass every year to collect conifer samples and make stops at the same spots every year. While it was snowy on the pass yesterday, the snow pack on the pass seemed about normal. The big difference was how high it was raining and where the lower level of residual snow was. We make a stop along the Foss River road. 15-20 years ago there was usually 2-3 feet of snow or more; yesterday there wasn't even continuous snow cover, and no more than 6-8 inches on the ground along the road.

    It strikes me that this is consistent with prediction from climate change models. Older stations have a longer history of records from before warming started a downward trend in snow pack, so today's snow packs will seem proportionally smaller than the average for the site, than would sites that have a shorter record.

    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  9. Now you mention it Dick, I've seen the same here-sort of a shift in the timing of the seasons toward a cooler, wetter Spring, and a higher snowline. Leavenworth's only about 1200 feet, so we can't expect a decent pack to last into March. Stevens got pounded yesterday too! I haven't checked, but I'll bet they got at least 10 inches. Like Lugan said, it really shortens the Alpine season!
  10. The alpine season is much longer today than say 50 years ago. As a teen we did not dare think about heading into the high country until mid-July on an average snow. Today those same lakes are now accessible and ice free weeks earlier.

    The same with length of run-off period. Grew up fishing the Snoqualmie and in those early days it was not uncommon for the lower river to be "out" for the July first opener.

  11. 134% in the Olympics....:confused: .
  12. The OP is looking good for sure.
  13. A few minutes ago, a squall just blitzkrieged thru here that lowered the temp five degrees to about 38, and was mixed hail, sleet, rain, and wet snow going sideways for about 2 minutes, then it blew thru, and now its sunny again and the temp is climbing back up into the low 40's.
    Gotta head out now!
  14. It's snowing here in Maple Valley as we speak and my buddy in North Bend says it's coming down there as well. I think those snowpack numbers will be adding up a little higher tally before Spring really hits.

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