Snowpack took a big jump in January

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Chelan PUD measures snowpack

The Central Washington valleys have seen dry days and relatively balmy high temperatures, but up in the mountains where snowpack gathers, it’s a different story. [

The state Department of Ecology says since Jan. 1, the statewide snowpack has increased an average of 352,000 acre-feet per day.

That’s how the volume of water stored in that snowpack is measured.

The statewide figure rose from just over 6 million on New Year’s Day to 22 million acre-feet as of Thursday.

The totals have topped out at about 26 million in each of the last three years.

In our last severe drought year, 2015, it never got above 7 million.

Mountain snow is crucial for irrigation and water supply as it releases that water slowly into our rivers and streams as it melts.