“That’s 33 percent of full-capacity moisture in the soil.”
In this area, he said rainfall averages 3.2 inches in April and 3.9 inches in May.
“If we have normal rainfall and normal evaporation in April and May, we should have near normal soil moisture capacity by the end of May,” Vetsch said.
And in areas of the state where the drought is more severe, average rainfall of 6 to 8 inches March through May still won’t be enough.
“To replenish those desperately dry subsoils, we’ll have to exceed that 6- to 8-inch amount,” said State Climatologist Greg Spoden, who likened the soil beneath the frozen landscape as “dust beneath the concrete.”
He said current conditions haven’t been seen since the drought years of 1987-88.