Updated April 17, 2019
As the winter snowpack melts over the spring and summer, it serves as a significant source of water for farms, water suppliers, and fisheries. In fact, snowpack is the largest above-ground reservoir in the state. As the state's lead agency for water supplies, we pay close attention to snowpack and monitor it closely.
Snowpack in Washington tends to peak around early April. This year, statewide snowpack measured about 80 percent of normal on April 1 — lower than in 2016, 2017 and 2018 — but significantly higher than in 2015, when April snowpack averaged less than 25 percent of normal statewide.
Federal water supply forecasters predict lower available water supplies this summer in all areas except the southern part of the state. As weather conditions change, the water supply forecasts will evolve as well, but the chance for major changes in outlook will diminish as we get closer to our dry season.
Washington experienced its fourth driest March since 1895. Statewide snowpack on April 15 was still much below average for this time of year, about 82 percent of normal. Conditions vary by watershed. In general, the southern and southeastern parts of the state are doing better.
An important part of our monitoring includes long-term projections. State and federal agencies partner with us to closely track snowpack conditions and monitor river and stream flows. Together we project water supplies for watersheds across the state.
We will regularly post information on this webpage about how snowpack, precipitation, and other factors may affect water supply forecasts.