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Double Average Snowfall Suggests La Nina is Coming to Idaho

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The Mountain West is well ahead of schedule when it comes to winter rain and snow, according to the National Resources Conservation Service and the National Water and Climate Center.

As of Thursday morning, the Salmon Basin, comprising parts of Lemhi, Valley, Custer and Boise counties, had 202 percent of normal snow water equivalent as a percent of average, or more than double the amount of precipitation expected for this time of year. Parts of Idaho, Adams, Washington and Gem counties have also experience above-average precipitation, with snow and rainfall between 279 and 296 percent of normal.

Data is unavailable for some parts of southwest and central Idaho, but only one small area near Cassia County has reported below-average SWE precipitation, clocking in at 70 percent of average. Almost the entire state of Oregon is in the same boat is Idaho, with SWE precipitation above 200 percent of average, and one heavily laden basin in north-central Oregon reporting 878 percent.

The National Weather Service issued an advisory Thursday that La Nina conditions have a 65-75 percent chance of continuing through the winter, which would result in below-average temperatures and above-average precipitation in Idaho and the rest of the northern United States for months to come.

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