Washington snowpack up to near-normal after slow start

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THE SPOKESMAN REVIEW – AP – SEATTLE – State officials say Washington is near normal levels of snowpack after one of the slowest starts in 30 years.

The Department of Ecology says statewide mountain snowpack reached 94 percent of normal as of Monday.

KING-TV reports that’s a large improvement over earlier this month when Washington sat at just 35 percent of normal.

Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon tweeted Monday that at this point she is cautiously optimistic, but conditions may turn warmer and drier in the coming months.

Snow levels vary around the region. The North Puget Sound has the highest snowpack levels at 102 percent of normal followed by the Olympics at 92 percent, South Puget Sound at 91 percent, and Central Puget Sound at 84 percent.

The Lower Columbia region has the lowest snowpack in the state with 73 percent of normal.

Posted by: The Spokesman Review – Associated Press, Tuesday January 1, 2019, 1:29 p.m.

Picture: (Ted S. Warren / AP) A snow grooming machine works along a chairlift at The Summit at Snoqualmie Ski Area as fresh snow falls, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Snoqualmie Pass, Wash. State officials say Washington is near normal levels of snowpack after one of the slowest starts in 30 years.