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Snowpack mostly strong in southwestern Idaho

The atmospheric river that dropped snow and rain throughout the region on Tuesday and Wednesday has helped increase snow levels.
Credit: Debra Martens/Idaho Weather Watchers
Snow on Jughead Mountain in McCall

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho's snowpack levels for the region remained mostly strong in January, laying the groundwork for a good water year, officials say. 

According to the Idaho Water Supply Committee, the Boise, Payette, and Weiser basins all hit 95 to 96 percent of the 25-year average for snowpack this time of year. The atmospheric river that dropped snow and rain throughout the region on Tuesday and Wednesday helped bring those levels up. 

Likewise, Idaho's water storage levels are promising.

The Boise River Reservoir system - which includes Anderson Ranch, Arrowrock and Lucky Peak - is at 50 percent capacity, slightly more than the 25-year average for this time of year. Lake Cascade and Deadwood in the Payette River Basin are at 60% and 50% capacity, respectively.

The Owyhee River Basin has received only 70% of a normal year's snowfall, water managers noted, but remains 47 percent full, well above average.

Other areas are not doing as well. 

The Upper Snake River Basin has been missed by many of the LA Nina storms coming out of the Pacific Northwest, and is currently at only 75-85 percent of normal capacity. The Big Wood, Little Wood and Big Lost basins, which also did not reap the benefit of recent storms, are currently measuring at 60 to 65 percent of normal.

Credit: IDWR

Winter is not over, however: Although the next week or so is projected to be dry, storms bringing snow and rain are expected for late January, which could add to the region's mountain snowpack.

Monitoring the reservoirs and snowpack levels allow Idahoans including farmers, fishermen, and recreationalists to plan ahead and get an idea of what the summer water supply will be like. For more information, visit the Idaho Department of Water Resources here.