The below-average-snowfall start to the season we’ve had is correlating with well-below-average ‘current snow water equivalent’, or snowpack, for the western states.
The map above shows that hurting the most are California, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico all with well below average snowpacks. In fact, 99.5% of Colorado is experiencing abnormally dry to drought conditions and its snowpack is at a 30-year low. This is not only a concern right now for the ski industry but also for the water supply throughout the summer.
And as of a week ago, a measurement was taken that yielded an average snow depth of 1.3 inches, which is only 4% of average, at Lake Tahoe, CA. There is hope though, as January, February, & March are often big producers when it comes to snowfall. A change in weather pattern could really turn things around for California and the rest of the struggling states.
It’s not all bad though, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana are the bright spots, with snowpack well above average, and Washington being there or thereabouts. The upcoming forecast for Jackson Hole, WY is nothing but snow.