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David Sparks Ph.d Where is the snow
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: February 11, 2019

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Snowpack throughout Idaho is below normal for mid-January—and is especially low in a band across the southwest and south-central part of the state that includes Boise and Sun Valley. But, a series of storm earlier this week has helped the snowpack situation but a dry spell is on the horizon. 

According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, snowpack a across Idaho is just 70 percent of normal, and in the Little Wood Basin its just 57 percent of normal. It was 72 percent of normal in the Salmon River basin.

Snowpack in the panhandle averages as much as 89 percent of normal, 94 percent in the Owyhee River drainaget, 82 percent in the Bear River drainage in the southeast, and 75 percent in the Teton region in the east.

Idaho’s reservoir carryover storage is not as goodl as last year’s, which followed the abundant runoff year of 2017, according to the NRCS at the Water Users Association meeting this past week in Boise. "This means more snow and greater streamflow volumes are needed in 2019 than last year to marginally meet Idaho’s agricultural demands,” according to Ron Abramovich of the NRCS.

According to the NRCS, analysis of similar low-snow years in the Boise Basin shows that since 1961, only two out of 14 low-snow years (2014 and 2000) returned to near-normal snow levels by the end of the snow season.


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