Idaho Snow pack
Hydrologist Dan Tappa of the Natural Resources and Conservation Service: “We are looking more like 90 to 100 percent of normal across the state. With the exception of the north where snowpack stands at 120 percent of normal as well as the Owyhee basin. Two other exceptions are the Little and Big Lost Basings in Central Idaho where they are 70-75 percent of normal and that below what we have seen in that area the past 3-4 years,” 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.
After the storms, snowpack levels rose from 68% to 91% of normal in the Weiser River Basin. Snowpack in Boise and Payette basins gained more than 30 percentage points, to about 90%.
Over the past three years, February, March, and April have been the biggest snowpack months. Last year according to survey records the Boise system had the biggest February on record.
Tappa says with all the above-average hold-over water, plus the series of storm tracks, that Idaho farmers will have plenty of water this irrigation season.