Idaho's Snowpack Shows A Mixed Bag

Jan 8, 2018

As Bogus Basin fans might have realized, it hasn’t been a great snow year for the area so far, but that’s not necessarily the case for the rest of the state.

This year’s winter has been far less severe so far than the near record snowfall we had in 2016 and 2017, and that means snowpack levels aren’t quite what we saw then either.

Much of the west is hurting for snow this year, though Idaho is faring much better than many of its neighbors.
Credit USDA NRCS

North and central Idaho basins are on track to be about average – as are several in the east. But snow has been a bit hard to find in the Owyhees, the Boise Basin and the Snake River Plain.  

That’s not great for winter recreationists, but state hydrologist Liz Cresto says there’s still positive news for farmers.

“Last year’s abundant snowfall meant that the reservoirs filled, there was a reduced consumption of storage water from the reservoirs and increased carryover,” Cresto says.

Across the west, most of Oregon, Nevada, southern Utah and southern Colorado are hurting for snow, while Wyoming and Montana are generally above normal.

Still, there is time left. Cresto says much of the precipitation doesn't slow down until March or April.

“We’re still early in the season and a lot can change from here," she says.

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