A Record-Breaking No-Snow Year for the Olympics – Olympic Park Associates

If you think we can be a bit smug about California’s ongoing drought, think again. We are experiencing, this year, an unprecedented lack of snow in the exact places that need to have it. We are entering uncharted territory. By local author, Tim McNulty.

The data from Olympic National Park’s May 1, 2015, snow survey are in and the results are alarming. All snow survey and automated Snotel sites in the park were empty of snow, indicating a zero percent snowpack.

Snow remains on the higher peaks, but it is the mountain basin snow sites that indicate how much moisture will be available for rivers, water supplies, and salmon later in the summer. May is a time when the Olympic snowpack is typically near its peak.

Park science technician Bill Baccus, who monitors the snowpack monthly throughout the spring, points to Cox Valley, at the head of Morse Creek, as an example. Most years, the site would have over six-and-a-half feet of snow in May. This year the site was bare.


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