February 12, 2011 in Idaho

Region’s snowpacks are about average

From Staff Reports

The moisture content in the Inland Northwest’s snowpacks is near or above average, according to measurements taken last week.

The Spokane River basin was 90 percent of average, while the Pend Oreille basin was 109 percent of average.

In Washington as a whole, the snowpacks were 80 percent of average. In Western Washington, warmer temperatures and high rainfall last month melted snowpacks and led to flooding.

Mountain snowpack is critical in the West, where it becomes the spring runoff that provides irrigation water; powers hydroelectric dams; creates whitewater for rafting; and flushes young salmon out to the ocean.

Snowpacks typically reach their peak moisture content by April 1.

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