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Water report: ‘High and dry’

— The first snow survey of the year confirms what casual observers of Okanogan County weather already knew: There’s not much snow out there.

“At this time last year we were swimming in snow and now we are high and dry like a beached whale,” the Washington Water Supply Outlook for January said.

Snowfall is tracking close to recent low-water years of 1990, 2001 and 2005, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service report said. The report is published once a month, from January to May.

The Okanogan watershed is sitting at 50 percent of last year’s snowpack and 75 percent of average for Jan. 1.

Other readings include: Methow watershed, 44 percent of 2013 snowpack and 59 percent of average, and Conconully Lake, 20 percent of 2013 snowpack and 38 percent of average.

Some of the precipitation that’s fallen so far has gone downstream already. As of Jan. 1, Okanogan River stream flow at Tonasket was 110 percent of the December average and steam flow for the Similkameen River at Nighthawk was 117 percent of the December average.

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