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Wet weather patterns help drought, but water deficits persist in southern Idaho

Posted at 3:19 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-04 20:13:03-04

The pattern of frequent precipitation in southern and central Idaho continues into June, further helping alleviate drought conditions.

After a record dry period the first three months of 2022, April and May had wetter and cooler conditions.

Related: Water managers discuss current drought conditions after active weather patterns

Before this pattern played out, officials were skeptical of just how much a little moisture would help conditions. Going winter 2021, Idaho's water system already needed an excess of moisture to recover from drought, and it didn't get that excess during the winter months.

The current pattern could help with irrigation needs through this season, but keep in mind when the weather heats up in late summer that will put stress on an already vulnerable system.

Idaho News 6 spoke with state hydrologist David Hoekema at the start of this wet-weather streak.

"Every drop of water we can get, every snow flurry is beneficial, but overall across the state, we're expecting the drought to continue," Hoekema said. "It's great, but it's not going to pull us out. We really want to see, kind of a long-term pattern develop, pattern-change develop."

Related: On the edge of enough: moisture and cold helps drought conditions

A wet and cold pattern certainly played out over the past couple months, making positive changes in the U.S.Drought Monitor for Idaho — but the drought still persists.

Current drought levels range from moderate to extreme in southern Idaho, while northern and central Idaho are tracking normal to abnormally dry conditions. Water deficits could cause curtailments later in the season for water-rights holders and portions of Idaho remain in a drought emergency.

U.S. Drought Monitor: Idaho June 2, 2022
U.S. Drought Monitor: Idaho June 2, 2022