Saturday, February 22, 2014
Unfamiliar sounds of hooting and hollering have returned to the powder-laden slopes and forests of Mount Hood this week, as Jack Frost laid to rest any doubts that the ski season would be spared from what looked to be a frightfully dismal winter. And powder hounds with perma-grins and frosted facial hair aren’t the only ones rejoicing in the reported 134 inches of snow that has fallen so far this month on the slopes of Mount Hood.
Going in to February, the snowpack at Mount Hood’s official test station at 5,370 feet was less than half of the historic average, leaving many valley residents, farmers and watershed managers who rely on a healthy snowpack through the summer months nervously awaiting a change in weather patterns. The good news started the first week of February, as a modest but welcomed 8 inches was measured on the slopes of Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Area. Another 60 inches fell over the next 12 days as a teaser to this week, when the heavens opened and dropped 47 inches of light, fluffy powder in three days, including 17-inch dumps on Tuesday and Thursday.
As of Friday morning, Natural Resources Conservation Service data shows the Mount Hood test site at 93 percent of median, while the greater basin index, which includes the Hood, Sandy and Lower Deschutes, is at 76 percent.
In Hood River County, NRCS test sites sit at Red Hill (4,410 ft.) and Green Point (Mount Defiance, 3,310 ft.). This month’s storms brought the Red Hill snowpack up to 82 percent, but the Green Point station remains low, reading just 47 percent of average.
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I Can't Keep Quiet singers at "Citizen Town Hall"
‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge