Water supply concerns loom over ‘sub-par snowpacks’ in the U.S. Northwest

USDA Meteorologists are raising alarms over low snowpacks in key Northwestern watersheds that may lead to water shortages and disrupt spring or summer planting.

Recent storms in California have brought both damage and relief, improving many watersheds in the state. However, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Meteorologist Brad Rippey is raising alarms over other areas, highlighting potential water supply challenges for the upcoming spring and summer.

“If you go outside of the key watershed areas of the Sierra Nevada, as you move to the north and especially from the Northern Cascades to the Northern Rockies, we do have significantly sub par snowpacks,” Rippey said. “So for folks that are water dependent on some of those northern watersheds from Washington state to western Montana,” Rippey warns.

Big concerns arise regarding water supply availability for the late spring and summer of 2024, particularly from the Northern Cascades to the Northern Rockies.

“We do have quite a few watersheds with less than half of the typical snowpack for mid-February,” Rippey noted.

The implications of these low snowpacks extend beyond immediate concerns, potentially impacting the planting season and agricultural activities in affected regions. As water-dependent industries brace for potential shortages, proactive measures may be necessary to mitigate the impact on communities and economies reliant on adequate water resources.

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