SPOKANE, Wash.— Here is some great news for snow lovers in the region: Idaho and Montana are starting off the new year with some of the best mountain snowpack in the west.
Snowstorms in late December 2017 helped push North Idaho snowpack totals to 101 percent of normal. Again, great news. Some mountains in western and central Montana are reporting 114 to 147 percent of normal snowpack.
Good snowpack means good water content needed to fill lakes, rivers and reservoirs.
That is water that is needed for drinking and for farmers' crops.
The headlines were a little more dismal across other parts of the western region.
Although it was too early in the current season to give an accurate water-year prediction, hydrologists and climatologists usually worry about summer drought if snowpack levels stay low all winter.
For the Inland Northwest, early snowpack totals are promising, but the biggest snow months are still to come: February through April.