Idaho 2015 Water Year Summary

The 2015 Water Year ended with significant temperature and precipitation anomalies across Idaho. Compared to the 30 year normal, temperatures were several degrees (°F) above average for the majority of the state. Below normal precipitation occurred across the most of Idaho, but most notable was the lack of snow during the winter and early spring. Warm temperatures combined with low snowpack set the stage for early runoff, with many areas losing their snow 4 to 6 weeks early. April 1st snow water equivalent (SWE) rankings were within the driest 5 percent for the majority of SNOTEL sites. The early runoff caused streamflows to peak well ahead of normal in most basins, and flows receded to levels typical of late summer as early as June and July. Record low streamflows were experienced at many stream gauges over the course of the summer.



Idaho was part of the much talked about record or near record warmth that dominated the western states during the 2015 Water Year. Average temperatures were well above normal throughout the state, particularly during the core winter months. Most of central and southern Idaho experienced positive temperature anomalies of 4 to 8 degrees (°F) during the January through March period, with pockets of southern Idaho averaging as much as 10 degrees above normal. Winter temperature anomalies weren’t quite as large (generally 3 to 6 degrees above normal) across northern Idaho, but still had a major impact on the snowpack. Daily temperature records were set at many SNOTEL sites over the course of the winter, for both daytime maximum temperatures, and nighttime high minimum temperatures. The relatively warm weather also brought an early start to the spring snowmelt and runoff.




Precipitation favored northern and central Idaho, and portions of southwest Idaho during the first quarter of the 2015 Water Year. The first significant snowfall of the season impacted the Boise area the second week of November, dumping 5 to 9 inches of snow across the Treasure Valley. Dry conditions dominated most of the state from mid winter into early spring, except across the Panhandle Region where normal to above normal precipitation was the rule. Very dry conditions prevailed across central and northern Idaho during the spring, while normal to above normal precipitation occurred across southeast Idaho. The Idaho Panhandle continued to suffer from dry conditions through the summer months while most of central and southern Idaho received near normal or above normal precipitation.




Warm temperatures and rain combined to take it’s toll on Idaho’s snowpack during the winter and spring. A number of storm systems brought significant precipitation to the state, but high snow levels resulted in more rain instead of snow, particularly at mid and low elevations. In fact, low elevation snowpack was absent or just a fraction of normal across much of the state through the winter. By February, the snowpack was already ripe and ready to melt in some areas. Overall snowpack across Idaho typically peaks the beginning of April, but April 1 of 2015 was marked by snow water equivalent (SWE) percentile rankings in the driest 5 percent, and many SNOTEL sites were at new record low SWE. Snowpack melted 4 to 6 weeks ahead of normal at many SNOTEL locations.




Above normal temperatures led to early runoff of Idaho’s snowpack. This produced well above normal streamflows for much of the state during late winter and early spring. Peak flows occurred much earlier than normal, and were lower than normal as the snowpack gradually melted. Low flows normally seen in late summer and early fall were occurring by June and July in many areas. Daily and monthly record low flows occurred at several USGS streamgages from late spring through summer.



Snowmelt and runoff timing led to higher fill rates early in the season. Not all reservoir systems were able to fill though, especially the smaller reservoirs in southern Idaho. Warm and dry weather led to declining reservoir inflows and higher demand for irrigation water earlier in the year. Most large federal reservoirs across southern Idaho filled or came close to filling, but strong irrigation demand throughout the warm season left below average carry-over supplies.




Long-term drought continued to plague southern Idaho through the 2015 Water Year. Drought conditions expanded across central and northern Idaho, spurred on by persistent above normal temperatures, below normal precipitation, and poor snowpack.


Fully staffed at National Weather Service Boise

Meet the Staff at National Weather Service Boise!

RDRobert Diaz—Meteorologist in Charge:  Bob grew up in Northern Idaho and attended Boise State University where he completed his BS in Math.  He then attended the University of Wisconsin for Meteorology and was hired some 30 years ago by the National Weather Service, where he began his career in Redwood City, California.  He has been in ten different positions within the NWS.  He is a huge Boise State Football fan and loves to golf and travel.

TBTim Barker—Science and Operations Officer: Tim is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. He came here via Salt Lake City, Utah and Missoula, Montana.   In his spare time he likes to hike, geocache, and do landscaping.

TLTroy Lindquist—Senior Service Hydrologist: Troy is originally from Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln to study meteorology. He has worked at NWS offices in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Indiana and Idaho. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family, a variety of recreational sports, gardening and other projects around the home.

JBJason Baker—Information Technology Officer:  Jason grew up in Las Vegas, NV.  He has been the NWS Information Technology Officer in Boise for almost 15 years.  In his free time he likes camping, ATVing and fishing with his wife.

DDDavid Decker—Observing Program Leader: Dave is originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, and has lived in various places across the country and world, while in the U.S. Air Force. He has over 25 years of experience as a weather forecaster and program manager. In his spare time he enjoys golf and tennis.


JB1Jay Briedenbach—Warning Coordination Meteorologist: Jay is originally from Florida and attended Florida State University for his BS and MS degrees in Meteorology.  For fun, he enjoys hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.  He loves living in Idaho!

TMTravis Mayer—Electronic Systems Analyst: Travis has enjoyed working on computers and electronics since he was in the Marine Corps. He is always amazed at how electronics are integrating with each other. There are many different types of electronics that keep our weather office running so each day is an adventure for the electronics shop. He has lived in Boise almost his entire life. He enjoys camping, fishing and ATVing with his family. Featherville and Island Park are his two favorite recreation destinations but he continues to explore new areas of the state. Travis just went over the 10 year mark of federal service, with six of those years working for the Boise weather office.

KJKelly Jardine—Administrative Support:  Kelly has lived in Idaho since her senior year of high school and has enjoyed life in Idaho with her kids, family and friends! NWS is the fourth federal agency she has worked for during her career, having also worked for the VA, BLM and the Forest Service. In her free time, she likes to ski, hike, garden and travel.

WHWasyl Hewko—Hydrometeorological Technician: Wasyl hales from western Pennsylvania, from a humble upbringing in one of America’s well known steel towns. He attended Penn State University for three years, joined the military, where he acquired 27 years of weather experience, after which he received a BS degree in IT from Capella University in 2007. He signed on with the NWS in 2009, starting with an interesting tour on Saint Paul Island, Alaska. Wasyl’s hobbies include sports and fitness training of all types, playing the guitar, and periodically studying math and statistics.

Senior Meteorologists

LCLes Colin: Les was born in New York City and arrived at Boise via New Jersey, Minnesota, and California. He has a BA in Math from the University of Minnesota and an MS in Meteorology from San Jose State University.  His hobbies include blitz chess, travel, and hitting baseballs.

VMValerie Mills:  Valerie is “from all over” having grown up in an Air Force family.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Meteorology from the University of Maryland, College Park. For summer 2015 fun she took a locomotive driving lesson and swam the McCall Parks & Recreation one mile open water swim.

BWBill Wojcik: Bill was born and raised in Buffalo, NY – renowned for prolific lake-effect snow storms. His passion for meteorology was developed at a young age due in part to the wild snow storms. He studied meteorology at Oswego State University and SDSM&T. His career with the NWS began in Phoenix, followed by Pocatello and Boise. He enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family.

DGDave Groenert: Dave is a Navy child, so he has moved around quite a bit, but eventually settled in the Washington DC area. He has been a forecaster at NWS Boise for 12 years. In his free time he enjoys getting outdoors.

SPStephen Parker: Stephen is originally from a small town in Virginia, and came here by way of Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, and Tennessee. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, learning how to increase the amount of love and peace in his life, staying healthy, and following the SF Giants and 49ers, the Virginia Tech Hokies, and of course, the BSU Broncos!


JAJeanne Allen:  Jeanne earned her Meteorology degree at SUNY Oswego, NY.  Her first weather job was a summer job while still attending college and worked on the Fire Weather Program at the Fairbanks, AK NWS office.  After college Jeanne spent a few years as a civilian weather observer for the Air Force in Niagara Falls, NY.  Jeanne then joined the National Weather Service and spent a year in Glasgow, MT before being transferred to Boise, ID.  Jeanne has been at the Boise National Weather Service office for almost 25 years.  In her spare time Jeanne likes to go hiking and doing photography, but really enjoys spending time with her dogs and doing dog agility.

EPElizabeth Padian: Elizabeth has been with the NWS for 4.5 years.  She grew up in Phoenix and has worked at the Phoenix and Pocatello NWS offices. Her and her husband arrived in Boise for her promotion to forecaster in October of 2014. In her spare time she fosters animals and enjoys the art and culture of Boise.

KAKorri Anderson:  Korri was born in Seattle and raised in eastern Washington. He became fascinated in meteorology at a young age while experiencing the erratic weather of the Palouse, and watching his mother take weather observations for Horizon Air.  Korri completed his meteorology degree at MSU of Denver and his MS Civil Engineering at Boise State.  He has worked at the Anchorage, Alaska and Boise NWS forecast offices as a student. He enjoys photography, skiing, hiking, traveling, cooking and staying active.

JSJosh Smith: Josh is from Vermont and received his degrees in Meteorology and Computer Science from Lyndon State College. He has worked in the Burlington, Vermont and Grand Forks, North Dakota NWS offices before moving to the Boise office as a forecaster in 2005. He enjoys getting outside.

JTJoel Tannenholz: Joel is originally from Battle Creek, Michigan, where he developed an interest in weather at an early age. He and his family have lived in Boise since 1983. He is a University of Utah graduate in Meteorology. His many interests include hiking, Celtic music, and art, mainly watercolor painting.

 Fire Weather Meteorologists

CRChuck Redman: Chuck  was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  He earned his BS in Meteorology from San Jose State University in 1935. (And doesn’t he look great for 102!?) Chuck’s been the Fire Weather Program Lead here at Boise WFO since 2001. Chuck’s hobbies include swinging golf clubs, mowing the lawn, and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of various protein bars.(But in all seriousness, Chuck was busy forecasting on a wildfire near Omak, Washington and I took some liberties here. – Megan) MTMegan Thimmesch: A born and raised Minnesotan, Megan prides herself on her cold-weather resilience and pronunciation of the word ‘about’. Her love of weather was spurred early on when she discovered the power of the winter storm, i.e. snow days! Megan attended the aptly named St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota; earning her BS in Meteorology in 2004. Her career path with the National Weather Service has included a summer internship in Juneau, Alaska and three different forecasting positions at NWS Boise. Fire weather is now her primary focus.


 Entry-Level Meteorologists

ABAviva Braun:  Aviva is originally from Maryland. After earning a BS in Earth Systems from UMA, Amherst, and her MS in Meteorology from Penn State U., she served in Senegal as a Peace Corps agriculture volunteer. She has now returned to her love for meteorology, and is having a blast living in Boise! In her spare time, she loves hiking, backpacking, camping, whitewater rafting, and general outdoor adventuring! JCJessica Caubre:  Jessica grew up in Belfair, Washington.  She joined the Air Force as a Weather Technician after high school and always dreamed of getting out and working with the NWS.  After the Air Force, she attended the University of Washington where she received a BS in Atmospheric Science while working at KOMO News 4 with Steve Poole, before being hired on in lovely Boise, ID.

Electronic Technicians

GBGeorge Buckwold: George grew up in Southern California before he joined the U. S. Air Force. George served all across the country and in Vietnam as a radar technician.  After retiring from the Air Force, George moved to Boise were he has been maintaining our electronic systems since 1995. George is an avid archery hunter.


EJEric Johnson: Eric’s career in electronics started in 1990 in the U. S. Air Force as an Avionics Technician on C-130E aircraft.  After his enlistment, he attended Boise State University while also enlisting into the Idaho Air National Guard as an avionics technician.  Eric graduated from BSU with an AS  in Electronics Technology and a BS in Communication and Management.  He holds a master certificate in spark adaptive theory for spark plug gap maintenance.   He has worked at the National Interagency Fire Center for 13 years;  10 years for the BLM working in Remote Weather in wildland fire and the remaining three for the NWS.  He is still in the Air National Guard and is a maintenance officer for the 124FW’s A-10C maintenance group.  In his spare time, he likes to camp and ATV in the mountains; he really likes the outdoors!   He enjoys the customer service part of the NWS, and looks forward to implementing new technology to help in the protection of life and property.