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More snow coming to Boise Basin

Anderson Ranch Reservoir and the two other reservoirs in the Boise River System will be getting more water from additional snowfall. (KBOI photo)

Computer models make it clear, Old Man Winter still has a few tricks up his frosty sleeve as more snow is forecast for the mountains.

"So above 6,000 feet, average, we're expecting about 6 to 12 inches depending on the elevation. The higher the elevation the more the accumulation," said Aviva Braun meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boise.

You'd think snow is the last thing the Boise Basin needs.

The massive melt from this past winter is already pouring into the reservoir system and pushing up the Boise River flows to historic levels.

"This is going to add to the snow pack in the Boise Basin above Lucky Peak," said hydrologist Troy Lindquist with the NWS. "There's a lot of concern with the runoff and the inflows into the reservoir system. It's currently about 87 percent full."

But the National Weather Service says a positive in the equation is the remaining snow pack is in the higher elevations.

"Above 7,000 feet," said Lindquist. "And typically, that runs off in a more controlled manner, slower, and so we're able to better handle that as it comes into the reservoir system."

River managers also see a bit of a silver lining in this scenario.

Snow is preferable to rain, says a spokesman for the Bureau of Reclamation, because snow takes longer to melt and move into the reservoir system, allowing time to create critical storage space.

The worst case scenario would be rain combined with much warmer temperatures.

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