Inland NW Snowpack Low, Rain Is Saving Grace

Jan 23, 2015

You probably have made the educated guess that this was a dryer than normal winter in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene region. A weather official says that notion would be correct, though it's not the worst season on record.

Scott Pattee is with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which monitors snowpack and other environmental factors.

Pattee: "The snowpack in that Spokane/Coeur d'Alene area is at 69 percent of normal. We're not really bad, certainly not he worst I have seen. With that, it's going to take about 156 percent of regular snowfall by the first of April to have us catching up."

Pattee says because our area did get some mountain snow in November, it is actually doing better than the west side of the state's normal mountain snowpack. He also says we are doing better than in 2005, the most recent declared drought season on record.

Pattee says the real problem has been warmer than normal temperatures. He says the saving grace has been rainfall, which has been closer to normal overall.