Warm February Takes Toll On Mountain Snowpack In Idaho

Mar 11, 2015

Credit Jeff Jones / Flickr Creative Commons

Warm temperatures in February have taken a toll on winter snowpack in the Cascade Mountains and other areas in the West.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service said Wednesday that nearly a third of monitoring sites in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada reported the lowest snowpack ever measured as of March 1, and some sites didn't have snow.

Snowpack in Nevada, Utah and Idaho also fell farther below normal.

Snow that falls in the mountains during the winter typically melts slowly during spring and summer, providing water for the region. A lack of snowpack can lead to drought.

While snowpack has been below normal in states such as Oregon and Washington, there's also been plenty of rain. Some reservoirs have benefited from the rainy winter and are at or near normal for this time of year.