Above-average precipitation in Idaho Falls in recent months likely will continue through the summer, according to the National Weather Service.
Precipitation in Idaho Falls is about 110 percent of the average. In other parts of Idaho, it’s up to 130 percent of the average.
Averages are calculated starting in October.
“We had a fairly slow start to the winter season,” said Tim Axford, a forecaster in the National Weather Service’s Pocatello office. “About February we really flipped the switch. February was the banner month that put basically everyone in central and eastern Idaho above average for precipitation.”
During the winter, weather experts were expecting an El Niño pattern to bring high precipitation to eastern Idaho, but the pattern came later than expected.
“The El Niño didn’t really materialize until February when we were able to tap into the Pacific moisture,” Axford said.
Idaho Falls’ wet February was followed by a dry March, but above-average precipitation in April and May kept the water year’s average high overall, Axford said.
El Niño is expected to stick around through the summer.
“The wet will continue,” Axford said. “(El Niño) favors a warmer and wetter pattern, even in the summer months.”
High precipitation doesn’t necessarily mean flooding, Axford added. Most of eastern Idaho shouldn’t worry about flooding, he said.
The Weather Service is watching two waterways in the area. One is the Blackfoot River near the Blackfoot Reservoir.
“While the flows are very fast and cold, there is no active flooding around there,” Axford said.
The other is Henry’s Fork, north of Rexburg, which could get close to flood stage next week.
“The thing that we like to caution: keep your pets close, keep your children close,” Axford said. “You don’t want them playing near the swift, cold water.”