In the Media

Arctic weather hasn’t improved Central Oregon snowpack

Bend Bulletin

The blast of cold, arctic weather to hit Central Oregon this week has been a welcome sight for skiers, sledders, and others concerned about the lack of winter this year. For reservoir watchers, the weather is still short of what’s needed. Snowpack in the Upper Deschutes and Crooked River Basin fell to 85% of normal as of Thursday, according to data compiled by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Year-to-date precipitation was 86% of normal.

Photo story Measuring snow at Crater Lake

Bend Bulletin

At the beginning of each month in winter, the Natural Resources Conservation Service produces a report on snowpack conditions across Oregon, predicting how the water content in mountain snow may translate into streamflows during the spring and summer. More than 50-80% of the water supply around the West starts out as snow, so those in agriculture, recreation, flood management and hydropower generation use the data for planning.

Guest Column: Hope is not a plan for the drought

Bend Bulletin

Central Oregon is experiencing a water crisis. Despite intermittent years of good snowfall, Central Oregon has been in some level of drought for more than 20 years. As we reach the middle of winter we should all be concerned. Local reservoirs and lakes, not just Wickiup, are at historic lows for this time of year. It is unlikely they will fill. Rivers are at extreme lows as well.

Editorial: Help the Deschutes River by passing Merkley/Wyden bill

Bend Bulletin

Get close to the Deschutes River and it can be loud, cascading across rocks and logs. But the river has no voice of its own. And that is what makes the Deschutes River Conservancy critical. The DRC, as it is known, is not a purely conservationist or environmental viewpoint. It’s not the mouthpiece of the basin’s irrigation districts. It’s not a tool of governments or recreationists.

Worries grow in Central Oregon over dwindling snowpack in the Cascades

Bend Bulletin

Dwindling snowpack in the Cascades is starting to raise alarms that Bend and other Central Oregon cities are headed for a fourth straight year of drought. After a burst of snowfall slammed Central Oregon in late December and early January, snowpack levels surged to 130% of average. Dry and warm temperatures since those storms have erased much of those gains.

Where the heck did Sisters’ snowy winter go?

The Sisters Nugget

Early last fall seasonal forecasters were eyeing changes taking place in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Sea surface temperatures there were trending lower, a sign that the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) was likely transitioning to its cool phase, paving the way for the second appearance of La Niña in as many years. Sure enough, in October she arrived for a repeat engagement to once again orchestrate global weather patterns.