PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Mt. Hood has shed nearly 3 feet of snow in the past week as mid-spring temperatures heat up around Northwest Oregon.

USDA data shows that 33 inches of snow melted away from Mount Hood between May 11 and May 19. While abnormally warm weather has removed a significant chunk of the mountain’s snowpack in recent days, the region’s snow levels are still well-above average for mid-May thanks to the heaps of late-winter snow that caked much of the Western U.S. in April.

KOIN 6 Meteorologist Josh Cozart reports that, despite the heightened annual snowpack and rising temperatures, the Cascades are seeing an expected level of seasonal snowmelt.

Mt. Hood snowpack on May 1 (left) and May 19 (right). (Josh Cozart for KOIN 6 News)

“Much of the Pacific Northwest has run hotter than normal over the past two weeks,” Cozart said. “That’s helping to ramp up the snow melt over the mountains, but there is no cause for concern. Everything is in the normal parameters we would typically see for May’s melting trend. If anything, it’s fun to track visually how much snow clears the peak of Mt. Hood.”

The recent melt has flushed the Willamette and Columbia Rivers with icy water, causing the rivers to swell to nearly 13.5 feet in recent days. Flood levels are currently not a concern. However, the cold, swift river currents are potentially deadly for swimmers. As a result, the National Weather Service is warning people to avoid natural bodies of water during the spring season.

“With the hottest temps of the year so far in full swing, remember that our local lakes, rivers, streams are still very cold, especially due to snowmelt,” the NWS said in a statement on May 13. “Roughly 20 percent of those who fall in cold water die in the first minute of immersion due to cold water shock. Why? Because body heat is lost 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air. Wearing a lifejacket will significantly increase your chances of survival.”