All winter, El Niño keep Idaho and the Pacific Northwest dry following the trend that the tropical Pacific Ocean currents follow in years like this.
But El Niño also has followed through on the trend, turning around in April and dropping loads of spring precipitation on the region.
A series of thunderstorms loaded with hail and frequent downpours marched through the valleys. And snow piled up in the mountains. The Panhandle, which has been the driest region all winter reported 19 inches of snow April 28.
April’s precipitation topped out at 130-140% of average in the Upper Snake, south of the Snake, and in the Panhandle. Cap that off with cool temperatures and Idaho’s water supply looks good at least for this year.
Still many basins are below normal at 55 to 70 percent of average, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service says.