Where's The Snow?

Where's The Snow?
SEATTLE - It's a pretty simple formula: The lower the snow pack, the greater the risk of a water shortage in the summer.

And low snow levels can sometimes indicate a drought or a bad wildfire season.

There's barely any snow up in them there hills. The Cascades and Olympic Mountain ranges are bare in spots and skimping by with some of the lowest snow pack we've seen since 1977.

Could it be deja vu all over again? In 1977 the low snowpack lead to one of the worst droughts in state history.

"The longer range computer forecasting models, 2,3 or 4 months out are becoming more consistent and they're showing us staying in this dry pattern with temps above normal. That's a bad combination for getting more snow in the mountains," says KOMO Meteorologist Todd Johnson.

But Todd says that doesn't mean we won't get snow. Todd reminds us we still have 6 more weeks of winter to try and catch up.

University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences professor Cliff Mass says we're being too pessimistic in worrying now about a drought and forest fires.

"We're only half way thru the snow season, the max snow really peaks around the first week of April," says Mass.

In fact, in 1976 we started out with a wimpy winter. Mt. Baker was hurting for snow.

"Then late in February and March we got big snow storms and made up the whole deficit," says Todd Johnson.

Cooler air is already making a comeback; the weekend forecast calls for cooler temps and snow in the mountains.

And then there's Punxsutawney Phil. He saw his shadow on Groundhog Day this year, meaning 6 more weeks of winter according to a groundhog.

"There are other groundhogs that have come up in competition. There are 6 of them ...3 said early spring, 3 said the way it would be in a normal calendar year (more winter)," says Johnson.

That's means there's a 50-50 chance of more snow?