Forest Service snow surveys show summer stream forecasts and more


March 14, 2024

OLIVIA ROSE / Petersburg Pilot

USFS Hydrologist Heath Whitacre weighs the snow core within the survey tube to measure density and water content at the Petersburg Reservoir snow survey site on March 2.

A field of snow near the Petersburg Reservoir glistened in the morning sunshine where, at 550 feet above sea level, Forest Service Hydrologist Heath Whitacre jammed a hollow aluminum tube through the snowpack to measure its depth and collect a core sample, making sure to strike the muskeg underneath.

The Petersburg Ranger District has monitored two of several snow survey sites in the Southeast region since 1979: The Raven's Ridge site at 1,650 feet above sea level, and the site near Petersburg Reservoir at 550 feet above sea level.

These snow surveys primarily measure depth and water content o...

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