Idaho has driest March through July since 1924

For the current water year, this year is the fifth-driest on record
Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 6:54 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Only the year of 1924 has had a drier March through July, according to the Idaho Department of Water Resources.

Snowpack in the Gem State was nearly average this year, but the dry spring and summer have much of Idaho under exceptional drought conditions.

Unfortunately, it might not get any better anytime soon.

According to David Hoekema, a hydrologist with the Idaho Department of Water Resources, weather patterns tend to change over multiple years.

In a sense, a couple of wet years are followed by a couple of dry years at a gradual pace.

Idaho is in the first year of a drier cycle. The alarming thing is this water-year (October-September) is currently the fifth-driest year on record (1924, 1931, 1977 and 1994 are the others). The dryness is expected to continue into next year.

The Big Wood River is one place where the snowpack was lower than normal (around 70% of normal).

“On the Big Wood River, we haven’t gotten the numbers in yet, we’ll have to wait until the end of October, but we could be seeing the lowest runoff in recorded history in that system,” Hoekema said.

Hoekema says full projections for snowpack next year will come later this year, but he estimates levels will be around 70% of normal.

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