Friday, November 7, 2008

October: A dry month

A surprise early season snow-storm nearly cancelled 7th grade football pactice at Hillside JHS October 8th. Jake Putnam Photo


Boise—October basked in summer-like temperatures and lack of rain but many will remember the wild winter storm that blanketed the state with deep snow three weeks ago. But the flurries did little to help a late-summer precipitation slump.

Ron Abromovich of the NRCS Snow Survey says rainfall around the state last month was scant, about half the normal amount in some western basins. But there were a few dust-busting wet spots across the Snake River Plain.

“One was the Oakley basin,” said Abromovich. “Other ones were over in the Henry’s Fork area and Little Lost basin where they were 108 percent, 143 percent in the Mud Lake area.”

Central Idaho got a foot of snow in the mountains on election day, with Bald Mountain in Sun Valley reporting just under a foot of snow at the top of chairlift 3. Despite the storm Abromovich says it’s a mixed bag for reservoir carryover.

“The upper Snake especially, it’s much better than a year ago but a few other reservoirs like Oakley, Salmon Falls and Magic it’s less this year than a year ago. The Boise and Payette basin are in pretty good shape along with Dworshak Reservoir.”

Abromovich says if most basins get a normal or above normal snowpack followed by spring rains there should be a normal supply of water next summer.

“The basins that have the greatest need for a good snowpack this year are Little Lost basin and Salmon Falls, both at about 120 percent of average to insure a good supply.”

And there’s good news in the long range forecasts, No El Nino. No La Nina. The long range forecast calls for normal or slightly above normal precipitation in the Pacific Northwest this winter with slightly colder temperatures.

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