Year Starts With Wash. Snowpack At 45 Percent

Jan 10, 2014

A dry start to winter has left the snowpack in Washington far short of normal.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's snow survey office in Mount Vernon says as of Jan. 1, snowpack readings were 45 percent of normal for that time of year.

The "water year" starts in October, and by January about half of the annual snowfall should be on the ground, but it was only 18 percent.

Water supply specialist Scott Pattee says this weekend's rain and snow should help a little, but it looks like dry weather will return for the rest of the month.

The state depends on the mountain snowpack to supply water for fish migration, irrigation, power generation and other water needs through the year.