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Snowpacks normal

By: Jake Putnam
Published in Video on  January 29, 2020

BOISE—After a week of snowfall in the mountains and heavy rain in the valleys, Idaho is now close to normal mountain snowpack levels.

Earlier this month Idaho snowpack levels were well below levels. Mores Creek summit reported just two feet of snow on December 30th, today snowpack is almost tripled.

“We had a slow start in mountain snowpacks and then it all shifted starting on New Year's Day. We had decent storms hit the entire state. Prior to that storm we were just 50-60 percent of normal, all the storms were hitting the northern and southern borders,” said Hydrologist Dan Tappa of the Natural Resources and Conservation Service.

A series of recent storms have brought snow to the mountains and heavy rain to the valleys and that’s changed the tide in Idaho.

“We’re now looking more like 90 to 100 percent of normal across the state. But up north, snowpack stands at 120 percent of normal as well as the Owyhee basin on the southern border. The Little and Big Lost Basins in Central Idaho are just 70-75 percent of normal,” said Tappa.

Idaho now enters the halfway mark in the snowpack year with below normal levels, the Gem State needs the snow, but not that bad. “We went into this past fall with a lot of carry-over water in virtually every reservoir attached to the Snake River plain. The Boise, the Payette, the Snake, the Wood and Lost systems, Salmon Falls, the Owyhee, all have holdover water and plentiful storage going into this winter. So we have a buffer against shortages going into the irrigation season,” said Tappa.

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