If you don’t have time to read all of this this excellent Oregonian article, here’s an excerpt:
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After one of the driest Februarys on record, accumulations of mountain snow have dropped even further below normal across much of Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
That snow is a vital natural reservoir for the streams and rivers that supply irrigation and drinking water, produce electricity at hydropower dams—and sustain wild salmon journeying to sea.
Last month brought one-fifth to one-third the average rain and snowfall to most river basins in Oregon. For Portland, it was the fourth-driest February on record. The lack of moisture, combined with warmer-than-normal temperatures, left snowpacks worse off than they were a month ago in most of the region. Washington is down the furthest, with a statewide snowpack at 27 percent of normal, compared with Oregon at 35 percent of normal. [Emphasis added.]
Twenty-seven percent of normal. Ouch.