Cold temps promising for snowpack, but Idaho’s drought outlook for 2023 unclear

Idaho News
By Erin Banks Rusby; Idaho Press Snowpack at Bogus Basin in Boise, Idaho. The normal high temperature for Boise on Nov. 9 is 52 degrees. But this year on that day, the high was just in the 30s. Even in mid-November, Boise’s normal highs are in the 40s, said Troy Lindquist, a senior hydrologist with the National Weather Service. That said, the Treasure Valley’s recent cold weather in tandem with the snow that fell is good news for Idaho’s water supply, he said. “That’s nearly 20 degrees below normal, for Boise, so it’s definitely going to be chilly,” Lindquist said during a meeting earlier this month about the outlook for Idaho’s water supply over the next year. “The nice thing about this is we’ve got a fast start to our…
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Snowpack, water supply depend on March rains

Idaho News
By Hannah Ashton; Magic Valley Times News Snow falls as the water flows Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at Auger Falls in Twin Falls.Drew Nash, Times News TWIN FALLS — Idaho broke water records in March — not the good kind. Across the state SNOTEL — Snowpack Telemetry sites — hit record low precipitation levels for January to March. Many of the data sets go back 40 years, making officials with the Idaho Water Supply Committee even more nervous. “Since about Jan. 7, we’ve really had a failure of normal precipitation in the state,” said David Hoekema, hydrologist with the Idaho Department of Water Resources, during the March committee meeting. The snow water equivalent (SWE), which stands for how much water is in the snowpack if it melted, has “dramatically decreased,”…
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Drought, low snowpack may foretell Idaho’s future

Idaho News
Idaho Statesman Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, Boise, ID. Much of Southern Idaho, cut through in scythe like fashion by the Snake River Plain, relies on the frozen water stored in the state’s mountains to fill its rivers. When winter ends and summer’s broiling heat arrives, it is these snowy peaks that serve as the state’s reservoir, filling the Salmon, Snake, Big Lost, Boise and other tributaries with cold, clear water. But as the amount of snowfall declines, with scientists citing the effects of climate change as a key contributor, major problems arise for the state’s ecosystems, residents and agriculture industry. And that erosion is already underway. By the turn of the century, Idaho could see reductions of 35%-65% of its snowpack, according to a study published in Nature Reviews…
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The climate crisis in Idaho: Experts share environmental and health concerns

Idaho News, Research
By Hanalei Potempa; The Arbiter In Idaho, the negative impacts of the changing climate are becoming more apparent. Climate change is not just one problem. The issue represents how the earth’s climate system is acting differently than how it has been operating for a very long time. It is a complete systemic change resulting from problems happening all over the world, and it affects each place in a different way. “What climate change has done is it has thrown a really big wrench into our ability to predict what’s going to happen in the future given how things have looked in the past,” said Dr. Chris Torres, an environmental studies professor at Boise State. In Idaho, changing climate conditions have caused rising concerns for consistent water sources for residential and…
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Idaho Water Supply Committee: Record-dry January, drought outlook ‘grim’

Idaho News
By Meredith Spelbring; East Idaho News TWIN FALLS (KIVI) – After a near “perfect” start to the season, officials with the Idaho Water Supply Committee said a record-dry January and dry forecasts are not ideal for the widespread drought across Idaho. Nearly 50% of Idaho is in drought conditions, with the remaining half of the state approaching drought conditions, according to David Hoekema with the Idaho Department of Water Resources. The fall of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 were “perfect” conditions from a water supply standpoint, but one of the driest 30-day streaks in January is causing concern. “We are getting to a point we are probably going to start recommending an expansion of drought in Idaho if we don’t see the needed precipitation coming in,” said Hoekema. As…
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Idaho Water Resource Board Expands Cloud Seeding

Idaho News
By Brad Carlson, Capital Press The Idaho Water Resource Board at its Sept. 16-17 meeting voted to continue cloud-seeding programs — and to start a new effort this winter in the state’s southeast corner. House Bill 266, which he Legislature passed this year, says the board is responsible for authorizing cloud seeding and may participate in it and hire contractors. HB 266 directs the board to identify additional basins that cloud seeding would benefit, and to work with stakeholders. It limits liability for participating in certain projects and says no state or local permits are required. Cloud seeding has been used in parts of Idaho for years. Upper Snake, Big Wood, Boise and Payette river basins have aircraft- or ground-based iequipment to seed winter storms. The board is continuing its…
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