Water year 2021started off slowly with below normal precipitation during the fall across most of Idaho and the Snake River headwaters. As of January 1, total snowpack and precipitation are below normal across all basins, with the Clearwater, Coeur d’Alene-St. Joe, and Pend Oreille-Kootenai basins faring closest to normal conditions. However, at the time of compiling the Water Supply Outlook Report this month, early January storms increased total snowpack across all basins. Streamflow, snowpack, and precipitation data for each basin can be accessed on the NRCS Idaho Snow Survey web page.
Erin Whorton, the new Hydrologist-Water Supply Specialist for NRCS Snow Survey in Idaho, noted “With nearly three more months of the normal snow accumulation season, and the continued prediction for moderate La Niña conditions, the outlook looks promising for meeting this year’s water supply demands. Historically, La Niña conditions have resulted in increased precipitation across Idaho.”
January 1 streamflow forecasts are affected by the inherent uncertainty in how the snowpack will develop. Water users can expect streamflow forecasts, issued by the National Water and Climate Center team, to grow more accurate as we near peak snowpack timing.
For information on specific basins, streams, and reservoirs, please view the full report online at January Water Supply Outlook Report.