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March Storms Pump Mountain Snowpack to Record Levels

April 14, 2011

March was a record-setting month for snowpack increases in mountain drainage areas that feed Lake Chelan. The snowpack increased more than 800 percent of average at Park Creek Ridge while Rainy Pass snowpack increased 739 percent of average.
The April 1st runoff forecast for the Lake Chelan drainage has climbed to 115 percent of average. In March the forecast was just 82 percent of average. Last year’s actual runoff into Lake Chelan was 101 percent of average.
An above normal snowpack should mean ample runoff for Chelan County PUD’s Hydropower needs. But the District’s Power Resource Manager, Scott Buehn (BYOON) stresses that more snow doesn’t necessarily translate into more power revenue . .
The Northwest River Forecast Center’s runoff forecast at Grand Coulee Dam is at 108 percent of normal and 109 percent at The Dalles. The Wenatchee River is forecast at 105 percent of average and 109 percent of average for the Okanogan River.

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