Cross Your Fingers For A Cool, Wet Spring To Improve Water Supply Outlook for Teton Basin
Cross Your Fingers For A Cool, Wet Spring
To Improve Water Supply Outlook for Teton Basin
(NRCS News Release, April 6, 2010)
Snow survey data collected across Idaho by the Natural Resources Conservation Service indicate the late March storms brought little relief to Idaho's water supply outlook. The snow that fell in Idaho's mountains dropped between 1-4 inches of water content, but not enough to solve the water supply shortages that will occur in most drainages.
"A slow defrost is what we need to help salvage this year's water supply," said Ron Abramovich, Water Supply Specialist for NRCS. "A wet, cool spring would reduce and delay the irrigation demand, extending the limited water supply."
April 1 snowpacks across Idaho range from 50 to 75% of average. Snowpacks will reach their peaks within the next few weeks and runoff will begin. Cool temperatures would delay the snowmelt and spring moisture would decrease the early-season demand for irrigation water.
For the Upper Snake River Basin,including the Teton Basin and the Henry's Fork Basin,it has been one of the driest winters on record. March recorded just over half of the normal monthly precipitation putting the total precipitation since October 2009 at 61% of average. Reservoirs are storing as much as they can in this low snow year. "Water managers are storing as much water in reservoirs as they can but with the low snowpack there will likely be water supply shortages in some areas," Abramovich said. Streamflow forecasts range from 20 to 60% of average.