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Snowfall boosts local water supplies

by Ty Beaver, Herald and News 1/3/08

Forecast calls for more storms

   January could be a good month to accumulate a snow pack for this year’s warmer and drier months.
   The Klamath Basin is already above average in precipitation for the water year and on its way to average snowpack levels for t h is time in the year. Those concerned with local water supplies say the conditions bring both enc ou r a g ement a nd cautious optimism.
   “We’re happy about it, but we’re going to reserve judgment until M a r c h ,” s a i d G r e g Addington, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association.
   A wet October is the
   Two storm systems expected to move into the Klamath Basin in the coming days could make it difficult for people to travel across the Cascades.
   Up to eight inches of snow could fall in the Klamath Basin by late Saturday, with the mountains receiving far more.
   “The Cascades are going to get pounded,” said Sven Nelaimischkies, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Medford.
   A blizzard warning is already issued for
pr i ma r y reason the Basin is at 105 percent
the Mount Shasta and Medicine Lake areas, beginning today. Snow showers were expected to move into the Klamath Basin Friday with two to four inches possible.
   Another two to four inches is possible Saturday as the storm moves east across the region along Highway 140.
   Nelaimischkies recommended anyone planning to travel across the mountain passes in the coming week postpone the trip, if possible, because of expected severe weather.
of the average for precipitation for the year, said Cecil Lesley, chief of water and lands for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Klamath Falls office.
   Wet pattern
   In addition, snowpack in the mountains is at 76 percent of average thanks to storms that passed through in the past two weeks.
   “It’s encouraging and it looks like a wet pattern for the rest of the month,” he said.
   S ven Nel a i m i s c h - k i e s , a m e t e o r o l o - gist with the Nationa l We at her S er v ic e in Med ford, sa id he ex pec t ed snow pack levels to reach their averages by mid-next w e e k a s t w o l a r g e storm systems sweep across the region.


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