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Snow Levels in South Hills
TWIN FALLS, ID (KMVT-TV) The South Hills have a lot to offer in the winter, especially if you're a skier and a member of the High Desert Nordic Association.
Ted Deetz says "we have approximately 22 miles of trails in around here and so we enjoy coming up here and cross country skiing."
A small group of them strapped on ski's and snow shoes and headed south of Magic Mountain to find a Snotel measuring station.
Jeff Anderson with the Natural Resources Conservation Service who manages the site says "this site measures the snow water content of the snow pack to help us predict water supplies and what we found here today is that we're standing on about 5 feet of snow that snow contains about 16 and a half inches of water."
Which is pretty good, since winter is on its way out. So far the snow pack is 90 percent of average, and around 84 percent of the normal peak value.
Anderson says "those things are telling us at this time of the year that there's probably gonna be an adequate water supply for a thirsty valley in the summer time."
The NRCS checks these automated stations every so often and does manual readings just to make sure the equipment is working right.
And all the data that comes from the site is available for free on line by the hour.
Anderson Says "its useful to many different people not just people that measure reservoirs or interested in how much water there's going to be in the summer time."
Deetz says "We check it for snow depth to see if there's fresh snow, some people like to ski on groomed trails so if there's more depth to the snow it takes more energy to ski on."