MOUNT VERNON – Jan. 1 snow cover on the upper Columbia River basins was 99 percent of normal for the Jan. 1 Washington Water Supply Outlook.
December precipitation was 114 percent of normal, with precipitation for the water year at 129 percent of normal, according to the outlook. The report is issued monthly through May by the Washington Snow Survey Office.
Combined storage for the Conconully reservoirs was 51 percent of normal.
The upper Columbia area includes the Colville, Methow, Okanogan, Kettle, Similkameen and upper Columbia rivers.
Watershed readings included Toats Coulee, seven sites, 104 percent of median; Sanpoil, one site, 78 percent; Omak, one site, 78 percent; Methow, four sites, 112 percent; Kettle, two sites, 78 percent, and Conconully Lake, one site, 67 percent.
For the state, water year 2022 started off in fits and bounds with a promise of early November snow sports, said the report. However, a series of atmospheric rivers (warm, wet rain) pounded into the Cascades, all but erasing existing snowpack and causing major flooding on many rivers and streams.
By early December, things had cooled back off to the point that snowpack could start to build slowly back from square one. As the month proceeded, snow piled up at near-record rates, bringing a rare white Christmas to most of the state, said the report.
Last week’s statewide snow dump is not included in the January report.