Runoff (snowpack) news: Record snowmelt?

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From the Telluride Daily Planet (Reilly Capps):

“I think it’s safe to say it’s one of the fastest” melts ever, said Mike Gillespie, snow survey supervisor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. “I don’t know if it’s a record.” At least one measuring station, at the headwaters of the Rio Grande, lost all its snow at the earliest date in the history of the site, said Chris Landry of the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies in Silverton. On Red Mountain Pass, it disappeared like a magic trick. After the snow there reached its highest point of the season, 83 inches on April 18, the snow dropped an average of 2.3 inches a day until it was all gone by May 23. “Two inch melts rates — that’s nearly double what we would typically see,” Gillespie said. “Normally you would expect about an inch a day.” At Lizard Head Pass, it was gone by May 9, having lost its last eight inches in two days. More than 75 percent of the time, some snow sticks around longer than that. And this was a year in which the snowpack was above average. Statewide, a snowpack that was above the 30-year average on April 19 has now fallen to 29 percent of average.

From email from Reclamation (Dan Crabtree):

Inflow to Blue Mesa Reservoir continues to decline. In order to continue to fill the reservoir, Reclamation will reduce releases from Crystal Reservoir by 800 cfs over the next two days. Flows will be reduced by 400 cfs in two 200 cfs reductions today (morning and evening), Wednesday June 10th, and another 400 cfs likewise on Thursday June 11th. After the reductions, flows in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge should be about 2,200 cfs on June 12th. Further changes may be necessary in response to changing hydrologic conditions.

From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

Around 7:30 this morning, Monday June 8, we increased releases from Green Mountain to the Lower Blue by about 300 cfs. Currently, there is about 1475 cfs in the Lower Blue. Inflow to Dillon and Green Mountain Reservoirs has increased again due to run-off. Because the weather has been alternating between warm and cool, we do not have a projection how long these releases from Green Mountain will continue. We are also still filling the reservoir. Currently, the water elevation of Green Mountain is just under 7944–a little more than six feet below full.

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