Snowpack news: Lower South Platte reservoir levels higher than last year at this time

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The Sterling Journal Advocate is running a nice graph showing water levels over the last year at the three big reservoirs on the lower South Platte, Prewitt, North Sterling and Julesburg.

From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Jacque Keller):

South Colony is really good,” said district conservationist James Sperry of the NRCS office in Silver Cliff. “We’re carrying the Arkansas Basin.” The South Colony water equivalent is at 12.1 inches which is 106 percent of long term average for the year so far, said Sperry. An average year is 11.4 inches based on the last 30 years.

Precipitation from storms so far this year is 14 inches which is 89 percent of average…

While most ranchers watch the South Colony Snotel site, some use Medano Pass numbers to get an idea what the mountain is holding. Medano drains into the Rio Grande river drainage on the west side of the mountains. The water equivalent at Medano is 2.7 inches or 56 percent. The average is 4.8 inches. Medano precipitation is at 5.6 inches or 98 percent. The average is 5.7 inches.

Colorado snow pack numbers from around the state, as of early February, are as follows: White and Yampa–73 percent, North Platte–75 percent, South Platte–80 percent, Colorado–75 percent, Gunnison–91 percent, Delores, Animas, San Juan–104 percent, Rio Grande– 108 percent and Arkansas– 88 percent.

From the Leadville Herald-Democrat:

Colorado’s statewide snowpack was 86 percent of average as of Feb. 1, and is only 73 percent of last year’s snowpack totals on this same date. The increased snowpack totals across southern Colorado were essentially offset by the decreases in percentage across the central and northern basins and has resulted in the same statewide snowpack percentage for two consecutive months. Once again, this month’s percentage is the lowest since 2003…

The greatest decreases were measured in the South Platte basin, which decreased by 18 percentage points from the Jan. 1 readings. Other basins seeing sizable decreases include the North Platte and Colorado basins, decreasing by 10 and 9 percentage points, respectively.

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