YAKIMA (AP) — Monitors say Washington state is starting the new year with much better snowpack levels than in previous years.

The Capital Press reports that mountain snowpack was at 110 percent of normal as of Friday, compared to two years ago when several regions in the state were well below 100 percent.

Scott Pattee with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Mount Vernon attributes this year's healthy snowpack to cooler temperatures and above normal precipitation.

Throughout the state, the Spokane Basin had the lowest snowpack levels at 86 percent of normal. The central Columbia Basin was 98 percent of normal and the upper and lower Yakima basins were both on par with statewide averages.

Pattee says the cooler temperatures and above normal precipitation is expected to continue for the next three months.


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