Klamath Basin mountain snow pack levels below average

Klamath Falls, Ore. – While it’s still several months away from the start of irrigation season, Klamath Project farmers and ranchers are already keeping an eye on mountain snow pack levels.

Snow in the mountains is like money in the bank for Klamath Basin farmers.

Mountain snow pack levels for the Klamath Basin are only about half of average for this time of year, but officials from the Bureau of Reclamation say it’s not time to panic.

Dave Felstul serves as Water ops Division Chief for the Bureau.  “We’ve really just started into the months of our winter season which is when we receive most of our rain.”

“Compared to last year, we’re in a similar situation.”  Points out Reclamation’s Laura Williams.  “And last year, we ended up with a pretty much average year for water – so, no panicking.”

Mountain snow pack levels are currently at 51% of average for this date.

Those levels will eventually dictate how much water will flow to farmers.

“The later you get into the year, the more accurate the forecasts are.”  Notes Felstul.  “But we really feel we start getting a good handle on it around the start of March.”

“By about April we usually have a fairly good picture of what we can expect for the water year.”  Adds Williams.

And while it may not be time to panic, farmers are hoping for snow in the forecast.

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