Snowpack levels vary around Gem State

S. Idaho is above average
Posted at 10:02 AM, Feb 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 12:02:14-05

The snow pack is above average in the Boise Basin as well as most of Southern Idaho.

But it's feast or famine elsewhere. Northern Idaho is much drier, while heavy snow below 5,000 feet in other areas is causing some serious concerns. This looks like a typical snow survey at Mores Creek Summit. But it's actually 1,000 feet lower at Bad Bear Campground. And more snow is coming.

"It's been weeks since we've shoveled our driveways at the house but we're back in the wet track now so storms are moving in today, as we see snow falling." said Ron Abramovich, Water Supply Specialist, USDA.

This is the kind of scene other parts of Idaho could really use.

"They really need snowpack in Northern Idaho where some sites are pushing record low numbers in the Panhandle at 63 percent of average," said Abramovich.

The snowpack in the mountains can generally be handled by the reservoir system. But this year, there's so much low-lying snow, places like Weiser are facing some serious concerns.

"It's gonna go fast.  Because the town of Weiser sits 2,100 feet, Boise is at 2,800 feet. So there's a lot of valley floor in that 2,100 foot elevation zone and when when it warms up it could go fast."

So, Abramovich says the hope is our cold temperatures slowly transition into springtime conditions with a gradual meltoff that takes it easy on our rivers and towns.

Right now, Abramovich says Weiser has 25 inches of snow on the ground with a water content of 9 inches.