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Survey Shows Inland NW Snowpack Normal For Now

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Although it hasn't snowed much in recent weeks at lower elevations, the snowpack in the mountains seems to be pretty close to normal this year.??

The Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-St. Joe Basin snowpack is at about 92% of normal.? To the north, the Kootenai-Pend Oreille Basins are at 104% of normal for this time of year.??

Erin Whorton is the hydrologist for the Natural Resource Conservation Service snow survey in Idaho. She says the heavy precipitation we had earlier this week has bolstered that mountain snowpack in some locations.??

“The big rain on snow events this week resulted in increased snowpack in some areas, and actually loss of snow water content in areas like the Schweitzer basin, where it was warm enough where freezing levels were up high, and it rained on the snow and actually caused a loss of snowpack water content," she said.

With three months left in the normal snow accumulation season it's expected that if La Nina conditions continue, it will mean increased precipitation and cooler temperatures. If that is the case, the outlook looks good for the year's water supply.???


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.