Series of March storms boost Clearwater snowpack
Late arriving spring storms gave a real boost to the Clearwater Basin snowpack, bringing in an “amazing” amount of welcome moisture, according to hydrologist Phil Morrisey with the National Resources Conservation Service at Boise.
During the final two weeks of March, the Clearwater received 152 percent of average precipitation for the month, sending the snowpack back up to average and above average levels.
As of Monday, April 6, the Clearwater snowpack overall was 102 percent of average. The streamflow forecast for the Selway River has bumped up to 112 percent of average and the Lochsa streamflow prediction is 103 percent of average.
The Salmon River Basin snowpack has risen to 98 percent of average and the snowpack for the northern Idaho Panhandle is currently 89 percent of average.
Here in the Clearwater, the snowpack levels dropped to the low 80 percent range just a few weeks ago after a long term of dry weather ushered in 2009. By mid-March, it was looking like a lower than average snowpack.
But then storm after storm descended on the northwest, bringing a deluge of precipitation in the form of rain or snow.
Morrisey said some of the higher sites in the Clearwater received 10-14 inches of precipitation during that time period which translates into several feet of heavy snow.
During a March 26 helicopter survey, Morrisey said he measured 11-12 feet of snow at places like Hemlock Butte and Lost Lake. Like to play in Idaho’s snow? Check us out at www.myidahocountry.com