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Snowpack catches up in December after a slow start

Four ski runs covered in snow are seen from a distance
Kamila Kudelska

Many ski resorts in the state delayedtheir openings this year due to a lack of snow. Others had concerns about a lack of moisture. But in the past few weeks snowpackhas caught up. In fact, the state's snowpack is better than it was at this time last year. Currently, the snowpack is at an 88 percent median while it was 80 percent the year before.

Jim Fahey, a hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said it took just two weeks to catch up on snowfall.

"We increased 20 to 30 percent in one week in a lot of basins," he said.

The Little Snake Basin in the south and the Madison Headwaters Basin in the northwest region of the state have much more snow than the rest of the state.

Fahey said this trend is looking good but will only slightly help with the state's drought.

"The coming spring is really a telltale sign of how well we're going to do..whether that's getting rid of the drought, increased runoff, or water and reservoir streams and canals, etc. But this will definitely help," he said.

Forecasts predict more snow this week and next weekend.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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