Washington snowpack 112 percent, best in West

The mountain snowpack in Washington, which largely determines the water outlook for the rest of the year, is at 112 percent of normal.

A water supply specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service says Washington is the best in the West. The average for other western states is about 75 percent of normal and Arizona is the lowest at 40 percent.

The service compiled reports from measurements taken April 1, usually the peak time for the mountain snowpack.

Specialist Scott Pattee, who works from an office in Mount Vernon, Wash., says about three-quarters of the surface water in the Northwest comes from melting snow. The snowpack measurement is important to utilities, irrigators, fisheries and land managers and people like river rafters planning their season.