We’re kind of stating the obvious here – it’s been dry during late fall and early winter. But the map really sums it up by how many yellow, brown and red dots you see in Idaho. If you’re putting in for river permits or planning a river trip, plan to go early. The Natural Resources Conservation Service is predicting a limited water supply west of the Continental Divide, according to the NRCS National Water and Climate Center data in its first forecast in 2014.
Monitoring snowpack of 13 western states, the center’s mission is to help the West prepare for spring and summer snowmelt and streamflow by providing periodic forecasts. It’s a tool for farmers, ranchers, water managers, communities and recreational users to make informed, science-based decisions about future water availability.
“Right now the West Coast is all red,” NRCS Hydrologist Tom Perkins said. “Early indications are it will be very dry in the western part of the West, but wetter as you travel east. There are some exceptions to this, as New Mexico, Arizona, parts of Utah and southern Colorado are also expected to be dry.”
“But that could all change by the end of the season. This early in the season – who knows? It always changes,” Perkins said.