Published online: Jan 17, 2013 Irrigation
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Mother Nature has been good to Idaho irrigators thus far this water year, which began Oct. 1.


"Overall we're off to a great start," said Ron Abramovich, water supply specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Boise.


There's a lot of snow in the central mountains above 7,000 feet. But it's been unique because there's very little snow below 6,500 feet, he said.


With higher temperatures in November, moisture came as rain in the lower elevations. Lower temperatures above 7,000 feet allowed the moisture to fall as snow several feet deep. As a result there were five or six sites with near-record snowpack in the upper elevations and near record lows in the lower elevations in mid-December, he said.


Lumping those elevations together, Jan 1 snowpack percentages range from 130 percent to 160 percent of normal in the central mountains to 68 percent of normal in the Weiser basin. Elsewhere, the snowpack is near normal at 80 to 120 percent of the 1981 to 2010 medians.


SOURCE: Carol Ryan Dumas, Capital Press