High-elevation snowpack mounts through month of April

While mid- and low-elevation snow began melting across Idaho during the month of April, higher elevations continued accumulating significant amounts of snow all month long.

On May 2 the National Resources Conservation Service released its most recent snow survey map, which measures snow-water as a percent of a 30-year average. From the Panhandle to the southern border, percentages went up, and in some cases significantly.

The Big and Little Wood rivers are over 200 percent. The Boise River is 160 percent. The Salmon and Payette are over 150 percent. And rivers feeding the upper Snake are over 170 percent of average. Farther north in the Clearwater, St. Joe and Coeur d'Alene river basins things are about 110 to 120 percent of average.

Meanwhile, individual SNOTEL stations located at higher elevations like Dollarhide or Banner summits, both near the Sawtooth Mountains, tell a similar story. Through the month of April the snow-water equivalent climbed while the curve showing long-term average fell.

Warm weather and high water is inevitable this spring. Recreational boaters and anglers are urged to exercise extreme caution: travel in groups, wear protective clothing, watch for in-stream hazards and scout, scout and scout some more.