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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
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 10:43 AM

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. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 133851

Reported Deaths: 1803
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28467459
Washington18734171
Marion16247239
Clackamas11698138
Lane8353109
Jackson693085
Umatilla679368
Deschutes499936
Yamhill319045
Malheur313552
Linn311646
Polk245540
Klamath242838
Josephine174333
Benton170514
Jefferson170525
Douglas168743
Union111416
Wasco108123
Columbia104918
Lincoln99617
Hood River95421
Coos93815
Morrow93810
Clatsop6865
Crook62110
Baker5685
Tillamook3652
Curry3245
Lake2305
Grant2131
Harney1754
Wallowa963
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 3015644

Reported Deaths: 33724
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles102419013936
San Bernardino2540941560
Riverside2422062517
Orange2123892367
San Diego2117872103
Santa Clara935571076
Kern85362565
Fresno82039932
Sacramento801541080
Alameda67375764
Ventura61257412
San Joaquin57094748
Contra Costa52146449
Stanislaus42548749
Tulare41016501
Monterey35418250
San Mateo32186294
San Francisco29139262
Imperial25253463
Solano25216105
Santa Barbara24481231
Sonoma23871240
Merced23800296
Kings19254133
Placer17194173
San Luis Obispo15658128
Madera13328130
Santa Cruz12196113
Marin11569154
Yolo10519131
Shasta9594117
Butte9411121
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Tehama397142
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Lake257228
Humboldt232224
Glenn192419
Colusa16919
Calaveras160823
Siskiyou140813
Mono10914
Inyo92429
Del Norte8572
Plumas5735
Modoc3793
Mariposa3464
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 59°
Brookings
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 62°
Medford
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 59°
Medford
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 59°
Klamath Falls
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 41°
Dry and mild Tuesday
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