Snow pack falls below average, local experts say still time for more snow
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash.- The snow greeted us for a day and now it's barely sticking on the ground. Some may love the mild winter, but it can also leave some sitting at the edge of their chair if there isn't enough snow.
Many growers rely on snow pack to water their crops during peak seasons. Our snow pack this year has had one of the slowest starts in decades, but water conservation experts say we are slowly catching up to normal levels.
"It's sort of a normal winter. It's a little bit mild but we're still building snow pack," said Civil Engineer at the Bureau of Reclamation Chris Lynch.
As of today, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reports that our snow pack is at about 92% average. Which is a little bit below where we are normally at during this time of year, but water conservation experts say we still have time.
"We do depend on a lot of precipitation falling in January, February, March, April and even into May. So we have a good five months of potential rainfall and snow," said Lynch.
The Bureau of Reclamation also relies on our five reservoir sites which can hold up to 100 million acres of water. Lynch says they are about 40% full and are a little below average than we'd like to see, but says that can change if we happen to get a few rainy days within the next few months.
But if the worst case scenario did happen David Brown over at Yakima public Works says people living in the city would have backup water saved.
"For the City of Yakima, we would go on some groundwater sources to supplement our surface water sources. So we would be in pretty good shape," said Brown.
Brown says Crop growers use more water than everyone in the city uses combined. If there was a water shortage for crop growers, some would get more water then others depending on seniority.