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Normal to above-normal snowpack predicted

dec-jan precip outlook

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-After a two-day meeting in Boise Friday and Saturday, the Idaho Water Supply Committee is expecting a 100% normal snowpack this winter.

On Saturday, Natural Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS) spokesperson Erin Whorton of Portland said we could expect a La Nina weather pattern. Based on cooler ocean temperatures at the equator, that would mean normal snowpack this winter, and near-normal to above-normal precipitation.

“I’m feeling optimistic about our upcoming water year with the La Nina winter,” Whorton said.

At the same time, NOAA weather forecases for the next 7-10 days and even three months out, is forecasting wetter than normal precipitation and cooler than normal temperatures.

"In the next 7 days, we’re going to see a cooler and wetter weather pattern in Idaho,” said NOAA spokesman Troy Lindquist of Boise. “The mountains and high elevations are going to see significant precipitation and snow, with a possibility of 6-12 inches of snow in the Central Mountains.”

That short-range pattern is expected to continue through November. The Idaho Water Supply Committee points out that offers promising conditions for ski areas through the winter and plentiful snowpack for the spring and summer irrigation and recreation. season.

The new forecasts come as the 2019-20 water season came to a close. A cooler-than-normal summer and wetter-than-normal spring helped ease some spotty water shortages in Idaho.

"Teacups" indicate current reservoir storage levels

Idaho Power reported operating cloud-seeding generators at numerous remote stations last winter. Those included 25 remote and 25 manual stations in the Upper Snake, 17 remote stations in the Payette Basin, and 15 remote stations in the Boise and Big Wood drainages.

Idaho Power claimed the cloud-seeding enhanced snowpack by 5.7% on the Henry's Fork and 8.2% on the Upper Snake drainages last year.

The Idaho Water Resource Board reported the water year was a real winner for Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer Recharge. Idaho Water Resource Board rehcarge project manager Wes Hipke said overall recharge volume was 450,323 acre feet. Together with donated water from the Upper Snake, total ESPA recharge was 518,631 acre-feet.

Idaho Department of Water Resources hydrologist Mike McVay sad that resulted in a net gain in ESPA water volume of 350,000 acre feet last year.

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