Snowpack news

A picture named coloradosnowpack02192010

From the Aspen Daily News (Brent Gardner-Smith):

“Runoff volume from snowmelt later this spring and early this summer is expected to range from 70 to 90 percent of normal over much of the upper Colorado River and its tributaries in central and northern Colorado, Bryon Lawrence [a hydrologist with the National Weather Service] wrote this week…

The runoff forecast for the Roaring Fork River from April through July is that the river will flow at 83 percent of its thirty-year average at its confluence with the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. Last year at this time, the National Weather Service expected the Roaring Fork to run at 116 percent of average. The Fryingpan River is expected to flow into Ruedi Reservoir at 74 percent of the 30-year average. The Colorado River is expected to run at 76 percent of average through Glenwood Springs and 79 percent of average at Cisco, which is near the Westwater Canyon boat ramp. And the Colorado River flowing through Cataract Canyon and into Lake Powell is expected to be running at 73 percent of average this spring and summer. The Yampa River is expected to be 72 percent of average at Maybell, Colo., as is the Eagle River at Gypsum. And the Gunnison River is expected to be at 83 percent of average at its confluence with the Colorado River in Grand Junction.

Meanwhile storage is in such good shape in the Arkansas Valley that 5,500 acre-feet of Aurora’s excess capacity contract storage water may spill. Here’s a report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Aurora, as an out-of-basin user of the project, has the lowest priority in accounts that would be evacuated by April 15 to ensure the dam has adequate capacity to contain a flood. The spill could be avoided if other water users call for water before that time, Vaughan added. Levels in Lake Pueblo are higher than last year, and that has caused some juggling by water planners. Earlier this week, the Pueblo Board of Water Works discussed contingencies if a wet spring put some of its water stored in Lake Pueblo in danger of a spill — a remote possibility, according to Alan Ward, water resources administrator for the water board…

Snowpack is at 90 percent in the Arkansas River basin, 73 percent in the Colorado River basin and 82 percent in the Roaring Fork sub-basin, where Fry-Ark Project water is exported.

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