Regional snowpack levels lower than normal

Medford, Ore. —  As of Wednesday, the snowpack is low in most areas of Oregon and northern California. That makes the next few weeks crucial.

According to the national weather service in Medford. As of this day in the winter season, the snowpack is just 35% of the normal. While the next few days could bring the area more snow, with spring coming up in less than two months, experts are looking ahead for what this could mean come spring or summer.

“We’re still below normal,” said Meteorologist Mike Petrucelli for the National Weather Service office in Medford.

He said environmental effects of a low snowpack year won’t affect the area immediately, but the region may start to feel its effects in the upcoming seasons.

“Say if the snow pack is really low and then you go into the spring and summer then there’s not a lot to work with in terms of water supply,” he said.

Petrucelli said water supply can be available – but limited, since much of it is dependent on snow melt.

“The more you have it, the more beneficial it is during those dry seasons,” he said.

Speaking of dry season – what about fire season?

“If you come out of the winter and the spring with not as snowpack, then that allows and gives the opportunity for some of that ground to dry out or some of the fuels to dry out much quicker because they’re not covered with the snow,” he said.

NWS Medford said several signs are forecasting the first two weeks of February will be dry. However, we have a new weather system pulling into the region this week, that may help cut the below-normal snow pack deficit.

You can always find the latest weather forecast here.

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