January storms boost Oregon snowpack

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- January storms have provided a dramatic boost to Oregon's previously anemic snowpack.

That's good news now only for ski resorts but for those who depend on water from melting snow to support agriculture, salmon habitat and hydroelectric power.

Hydrologist Jon Lea with the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service tells The Oregonian (http://is.gd/ltjJgj ) that Oregon's combined basins snowpack on Jan. 14 was only 35 percent of average. On Monday it was 70 percent of average.

Lea says the snowpack statistics had been at record lows and they're still below average so he hopes snow keeps accumulating. He says it's good news that snowpack increases occurred all around the state.

Lea says long-term forecasts call for normal to above-normal precipitation and below-average temperatures.

He says Washington state's snowpack has been close to average most of the season, and stood at 102 percent of average as of Monday.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com