ODF Hoping for Snow; NWS Says Snowpack at 60-70 Percent

Rain is always welcome, but it runs off into lakes and streams. Snow slowly seeps into the ground, large trees, branches, and fuel for wildfires.

Posted: Feb 14, 2019 6:54 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Snow is better than rain. That’s what the Oregon Department of Forestry says when it comes to hampering fire season.

“Snow up to the mid- to higher elevations ... saturates the dead downed wood: the treetops, the big branches," Brian Ballou, Public Information Officer for the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon Division said. 

Rain is always welcome, but it runs off into lakes and streams. Snow slowly seeps into the ground, large trees, branches, and fuel for wildfires.

“If you have a real lean snow year, that stuff may not get completely saturated, so it dries out quickly,” Ballou said.

He says if that's the case: "We'll likely have larger fires earlier in the summer and it becomes a worse problem as the summer goes on." 

The Medford region is about 1.5 inches above average so far when it comes to rain. But the Southern Oregon snow pack is only at 60 - 70 percent on average.

That’s especially a problem for the Klamath Basin.

“They rely more on well water and the rivers," Spencer Higginson, a hydrologist for the National Weather Service, said. "They need the snow pack and the rainfall even more than we do." 

To get your most up-to-date forecast, head to our weather page. 

Article Comments

Medford
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 53°
Brookings
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 57°
Crater Lake
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 43°
Grants Pass
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 52°
Klamath Falls
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 43°
Clear & cold nights, sunny and mild days
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Tuesday, February 18 afternoon weather

Image

Tuesday, February 18 morning weather

Image

Raiders preparing for defense of national and conference title

Image

Monday, February 17th Evening Weather

Image

New machine at Home Show promises to kill weeds without chemicals

Image

Monday, February 17 afternoon weather

Image

Health Alert: Truth about vitamins

Image

Monday, February 17 morning weather

Image

Rothmeier has big night in Spartans loss

Image

Sunday, February 16 evening weather