Winter Weather Has Helped Western Water Situation

Snow melt from storms could help fill reservoirs.

Much of the western United States has seen several very dry years recently. Last fall many were predicting that farmers could see water for irrigation from reservoirs cutoff at some point this summer. However USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says the situation has changed and there is optimism for water conditions in the West.

"Before La Nina began influencing the weather patterns across the United States we did see quite a bit of storminess in the Southwest," Rippey says. "That was really bonus snowfall in the mountains of the Southwest and that will help a lot in that region come spring."

According to Rippey all through the West has had a reasonably stormy period the last two months or so.

"We are set up for a pretty good situation in the West," Rippey says. "We'd like to see a nice slow steady snowmelt to help fill the reservoirs, but right now cautiously optimistic with respect to western water supply after a number of very bad years."

That slow snowmelt is very important. A rapid warm-up and meltdown of the snow would cause a lot of water to be lost to reservoirs.

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