BOISE -- Experienced skiers and boarders are loving the fresh snow. As of Monday midday, Sun Valley Resort received 25 inches in the last 24 hours. And while it was snowing in the mountains, much of the valleys received rain.
"The more that falls the more we measure," said water supply specialist Ron Abramovich.
Abramovich says so much rain and snow have fallen across the state this month, we've already received our March allotment of precipitation. We did so in the first 20 days of the month. Any additional precipitation is an added bonus.
"With moisture we got in the past 10 days, we received four to five-and-a-half inches of snow water, so that would be equivalent to getting four feet of new snow in the past 10 days," said Abramovich.
But are we getting too much? Just last week, the Weiser River flowed almost three feet above flood stage. Even so, Abramovich says the recent moisture is good.
"It's still good news,"said Abramovich. "It puts our snowpack at near average or a little above, so we're looking good. There had been a donut hole right over the Big Wood Basin. In early January they received very little precipitation and they were the lowest in the state, about 80 percent of average. Now with this new moisture, they're up to 97-99 percent of average in terms of snow water content for today."
On Monday, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers increased flows from Lucky Peaky Dam. They do so to make sure they don't overfill the reservoirs too soon.
Right now, water storage in Boise River reservoirs is about 68 percent of capacity. And over the coming weeks, Abramovich says they'll be watching to see if more releases are needed.
"As the snowpack melts, we can manage that water as it comes in the reservoir, but the wild card is spring precipitation," said Abramovich. "So, if you get a lot of rain in May when the snow is ripe and melting, then we're really going to see high stream flows."
Water managers anticipate that a full supply of irrigation water will be available this season.
Officials are advising people to be aware of the danger associated with the increased flows. They says to use extra caution around the river banks.