Friday, March 6, 2009

More Snow in March

Steve Ritter photo
March off to a Wet Start
Emmett--Just when forecasters were calling for doom and gloom in snowpack numbers, Idaho gets rocked by a series of storms. Squaw Butte got a dusting but the Treasure Valley got an inch. Weather forecasters say that the storms combined with cool temps will persist until Monday.

Idaho's snowpack has lost 20 percent water content since Jan. 1, but experts say there should still be enough water for irrigation.

Idaho Department of Water Resources hydrologist Steve Burrel told the State water committee that snowpack numbers stand at 80 percent of the average amount and that's down from normal January levels.

A Warm high pressure system, combined with an inverstion pushed storms north and south causing warm temps at the higher elevations which melted snowpack according to the report.

In southern Idaho, the mountain snowpack is critical to the health of the region's drought-prone agricultural industry.

Snowpack numbers across the state range from 72 percent of average in Coeur d'Alene basin to 115 percent in south Idaho's Bruneau Basin according to forecasters.

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