local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs



Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of Dec 31, 2002 - Jan 7, 2003


Snows top averages

State still needs moisture

Express Staff Writer

The Big Wood River is one of three drainage basins in the entire Northwest that has accumulated a greater than average snowpack for this time of year.

Using the amount of moisture retained in the snow as a measure, the Big and Little Wood basins were at 112 percent of average by Monday, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Neighboring valleys to the east, the Big and Little Lost basins, were at 101 percent of average.

A serene scene, the Big Wood River basin has already collected more than 100 percent of its average winter moisture. Express photo by Willy Cook

The only other area in the Northwest above 100 percent of average Monday morning was Oregonís Rogue and Umpqua basins, which combined at 117 percent of average.

But a lot more moisture is needed, probably for consecutive years, to ease the impacts from a multi-year drought that has scorched large parts of the West, said Dick Larson, Idaho Department of Water Resources public information officer.

Mother Nature needs to dump 120 percent of normal for Idaho to have an average irrigation supply.

"Weíre still a long ways from being out of the woods," Larson said. "When you look across the southern part of the state, itís not looking good at all."

Most of the Northwestís rivers were hovering between 40 and 75 percent of average Monday, including Idahoís irrigation powerhouse, the Snake River and its tributaries.

According to Natural Resources Conservation Service water supply specialist Ron Abramovich, dry soil will absorb between 3 and 5 inches of snow this spring, increasing the need for wet weather.

November, December and January are typically the high-moisture months when most of the snow pack builds up. Abramovich said it would be easier to predict the summerís water flow after Feb. 1.

Northern Idaho is the furthest behind. The Panhandle region and Clearwater drainage are about 50 percent of average.

But other Idaho basins heavily used for irrigation and recreation were experiencing deepening snows. The Payette and Boise river basins, both in central Idaho, were nearing 100 percent Monday.

And more significant snows were forecast last night and throughout the week, as wet Pacific storms continued to march inland.

"This last round of storms was just a God-send," Larson said. "Letís just hope the storms stay lined up for the next three months. It might raise hell with the people who donít like to shovel snow, but, boy, do we need these storms."


Ski Reports


Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.