Ore. snowpack light so far; Wash. doing better

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A new snowpack measurement at Oregon's Mount Hood found just 41 inches of snow. That's about 54 percent of average for this time of year.

U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service hydrologist Jon Lea said Thursday that about 91 inches of snow were measured at the same spot below Timberline Lodge last year.

Lea tells The Oregonian that this season's snowfall started off robustly but then came a "very, very dry December."

Across the state, the newspaper says Oregon's snowpack is about 43 percent of average.

Washington is doing better. While eastern parts of the state are drier than the North Cascades and Central Cascades, overall Washington is at 81 percent of its average snowpack.

Lea says about 40 percent of the maximum snowpack typically accumulates by Jan. 1 — so there's plenty of winter left.