Diamond Lake Resort received an estimated 22 inches of fresh snow over the past weekend and could see as much as an additional 12 to 24 inches Wednesday to Monday as a series of wet weather systems roll through the region.
The start of the wet pattern was expected to arrive overnight Wednesday and last for as long as two weeks. After Wednesday’s initial surge, the National Weather Service in Medford expects conditions to calm until as early as Friday night, when another stronger system is scheduled to arrive and last through Monday.
In that span, the Cascades could expect to see anywhere from 8 to 12 inches of new snow Wednesday, with an additional 12 to 16 inches between Friday and Sunday.
“We’re totally looking forward to it,” said Mari Dybowski, a spokesperson for Diamond Lake Resort. “That would totally make our New Year’s weekend.”
Susan Douthit, a watermaster for the Oregon Department of Water Resources, had told The News-Review in September that she would do “backflips” if Douglas County saw as wet a winter season as a regular La Nina pattern traditionally delivers.
Douthit said Tuesday she’s hedging her bets.
“Watermasters are cynics by nature,” Douthit said. “Until the end of May, I’m not betting on anything. That said, it’s better now, but I’m anxious for the end of spring to see where we stand.”
As of Tuesday, the snowpack at Diamond Lake Resort was at 26 inches. The approaching weather systems are expected to see snow levels remain between 3,000 to 4,000 feet.
“The snowpack is great, but we get one warm storm and that snowpack depletes,” Douthit said. “I would love to see feet still up there in May.
“Mother Nature, she’s the boss. She wins every time,” Douthit said.
While the outlook for the area snowpack looks encouraging, the Umpqua Basin continues to lag behind the monthly average rainfall for December.
As of Tuesday, 3.96 inches of rain had been reported at the Roseburg Regional Airport so far this month, according to the National Weather Service. That number is still 2 inches behind the December average of 5.92 inches.
While Roseburg could see as much as a half-inch of rain Wednesday, upcoming weather systems aren’t expected to bring heavy rains.