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David Sparks Ph.d Snow pack
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: January 03, 2019

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The quickest route to Idaho's mountain snowpack is to take State highway 21 headed to Idaho city. On this journey you will see a snow berm piling up on the edges with a wet and sometimes slick roadway. We are on our way to elevation 6118 feet. That is the top of Moores Creek Summit. This is the site of one of many sno-tel locations scattered about in Idaho's high country used to monitor what becomes Idaho's liquid gold come Springtime. “in terms of water content, we have measured 9 inches of water in the snowpack, normally it should be about 12”. We are only 75% of normal at this site and overall the Boise basin is about 70% of average. This is the fifth lowest January 1 snow pack since 1961.” Ron Abramovich, a hydrologist with the USDA has spent his career measuring snow packs. He says that even though there is a below normal snow pack so far this year, there is some good in how winter has started out in the high country. “the good part is that it is cold up here so all of the moisture that has fallen, has fallen as snow and that's why we are measuring about a 25% density which is good so the snow is not melting like we have lost some in past years.”


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