Snow Survey Results for Salmon/Scott Ranger District — May 1 2011

The latest snow survey results on the Klamath National Forest shows that there’s a lot of snow up there and that it’s definitely going to affect our hiking this summer.

Here are the details from a press release on the May 1 snowpack survey on Klamath National Forest:

Employees of the Salmon/Scott River Ranger District of the Klamath National Forest have completed the May 1st snow surveys. The snowpack is well into the spring melt and the snow levels have declined since the April measurements. However, it still remains well above normal for this time of year. According to current measurements, the snowpack depth for the Scott Valley stations is now at 176% above normal.

Snow depth and water content are measured by obtaining a core sample of snow with a specially designed and calibrated aluminum tube. The snow depth is recorded and the water equivalent of that snow sample is calculated by weighing the core of snow in the tubes. The information is forwarded to the State of California, where the data is compiled with other snow reports and becomes part of the California Cooperative Snow Survey program, managed by the California Department of Water Resources. The information is used to help the State forecast the amount of water available for agricultural uses, power generation, and stream flow releases later in the year.

During the winter and spring months (Feb-May), District employees travel to pre-determined measuring sites to collect information about snow accumulation in the mountains of the Klamath National Forest above the south and west portions of Scott Valley. The “snow courses” are designated locations that are used to provide information about the amount of snow and moisture each winter month. Some sites are located a few dozen yards off forest roads; others require hours of travel by snow shoes and snowmobile.

Snow survey members this month included: Carol Ballow, Patrick Grimes, Nic Hoisington, Steve Renner, Bill Robinson, and Sue Tebbe.

For more information, go to the California Department of Water Resources Website: or contact Maija Meneks on the Salmon/Scott River District at (530) 468-1272.