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Water Forecast For Idaho Shows Good Conditions In The Panhandle

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Federal officials say the water supply this year in north Idaho is looking good, especially when compared to other areas of the state. 

The Clearwater Basin in north central Idaho had near normal amounts of snowfall last winter. The farther north you went, the better the snowpack.


Natural Resources Conservation Service spokesman Danny Tappa says, in addition to the ample snowpack, a wet spring added to the water supply.

“The month of May we ranged from 120-140% of normal precipitation from the Clearwater Basin up to the far Panhandle. We got some really nice runoff events. Luckily there was no catastrophic flooding, but it contributed to the overall run off picture for the spring,” Tappa said.


The snowpack at Mt. Spokane is at 113% of normal.


As you head south, the water supply situation is less rosy.

Tappa says the driest area of the state is the Wood and Lost River basins near Sun Valley.


I don't think we had a single month of above normal precipitation since October first in the Wood and Lost River basins. And so stream flow volumes look like they will be about half of normal,” he said.


Tappa said the region that provides water to the Snake River Basin has normal snowpack. That's important for agriculture. The Boise and Payette Basins are slightly below normal.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.