precipitation restores water levels
and Express Staff
snows since Thanksgiving have boosted Idaho's water bank to more than
average through Tuesday, setting the stage for the state's Water Supply
Committee to determine whether two years of drought have ended.
A third of
the way through snow accumulation season, the snowpack statewide averaged
138 percent of normal compared to only 87 percent of normal at the same
time a year ago.
By the end
of last February, the state’s snowpack had slipped to just 59 percent of
season’s first major storm on Nov. 21 until Friday, the Ketchum Ranger
District recorded 77 inches of snow in Ketchum. During the same time last
year, only 17 inches fell.
Bald Mountain is boasting a 94-inch season total accumulation so far with
a 60-inch skiing base. The average season’s total accumulation is 165
percentages were just normal on the Snake River Basin above Palisades Dam
in eastern Idaho, which was 86 percent of normal last year, to 205 percent
of normal in the Oakley area of south-central Idaho.
Clearwater and Salmon river basins were both at 113 percent of normal
while the Wood River Basin was at 136 percent of normal and the Boise and
Weiser-Payette river basins were both above 140 percent.
forced water managers statewide to draw down the reservoir system to its
minimum levels by the end the summer, and the Water Supply Committee will
decide at its Jan. 11 meeting just how far along the state is toward
scientists from various government agencies will based their
recommendations on snowpack and reservoir levels at the time, stream flow
forecasts, weather predictions and other information to form the outlook