A Powerful Idaho Winter Walloped Our Long Drought
Wow! What a difference the steady snow and rain have made. Check out this link from the U.S. Drought Monitor. The worst of the drought has taken a roundhouse punch. For weeks, four counties across southern Idaho were still mostly listed as being in severe drought, with Lemhi County being a fifth. Lemhi remains listed as severe, but as you can see, Owyhee, Twin Falls, Cassia, and Oneida Counties have greatly benefited from the moisture winter delivered.
While most of the state is still listed as being in moderate drought, this is finally going in the right direction. I took a drive a few days ago to Blaine County. The snowpack is impressive. The melt there and in the south hills will put a lot of water onto our fields. The rain and snow have also limited the wind from blowing the moisture from the surface and some of it can sink into the soil.
Cold nights and cool days also ensure a steady melt versus a sudden runoff.
Despite the carnage caused by rain and snow in some parts of the west, California’s drought has also been busted. This isn’t constant across the west, but between Idaho and California, a great many American tables are filled with produce.
Traditionally, water south of the Snake River doesn’t soak in. The map shows we’ve, for the time being, defied convention.
The drought we’ve been experiencing has been with us for most of the 21st Century. This year could be an aberration. Many lengthy droughts drag on for 30 years, but if you follow averages and are optimistic this could be the end.