Snowpacks are as low as 16% of their normal levels
As the East Coast continues to bear the brunt of winter weather, the western state of Oregon is struggling with record low levels of snow.
Snowpack levels are as low as 16% of what they usually are in the state’s western regions, the Associated Press reports. The colder, eastern part is a little better off, with snowpack levels at 47-79% of normal levels.
Still, that’s bad news for Oregon, which relies on mountain snowpack levels to eventually melt and feed its streams. “We are really kind of staring climate change right in the eye right now,” said Kathie Dello, associated director of the Oregon Climate Change Institute at Oregon State University.
2014 was officially the hottest year on record, and the future also looks warm for Oregon, with the U.S. Drought Monitor predicting even more intense drought to come to some parts of the state. In San Francisco, just over 300 miles south of Oregon’s border, there has been no rain at all in January.