Snowpack news: Snow-water equivalent up slightly in South Platte River Basin

A picture named coloradosnowpack03102010

From the Estes Park Trail (Mike Oatley):

With about six weeks left in the snow accumulation season, the snowpack statewide, and especially across the northern half of the state, is lagging well behind both 2009 levels and long-term averages. The silver lining in the outlook for 2010 is the strong snowpacks of the past couple of years. A National Resources Conservation Service report states that “(a)bout the only good news for water supplies is the near average reservoir storage across most of the state.”[…]

The Big Thompson Basin was running about 77 percent of last year`s level and 75 percent of the long-term average at this point in the season. The Cache la Poudre Basin is holding about 80 percent of its average snowpack. The St. Vrain Basin, hampered in particular by a lack of snow in Wild Basin, is sitting at 69 percent of last season`s level and just 59 percent of its average…

Watersheds in the southern part of the state are faring better in general, though only two watersheds are at or above their averages. Most of the northern half of the state is at less than 80 percent of average. Only portions of the Arkansas, Rio Grande and San Juan basins are expected to reach average or above snowpacks.

Farther south, some southern New Mexico river basins have a water content in the snowpack greater than 200 percent of average…

Water managers are forecasting the lowest streamflows since the height of the drought eight years ago. The NRCS gives the snowpack a 10 percent chance of reaching average and forecast “well below average runoff” in the Colorado, Yampa, White, and North and South Platte basins.

Leave a Reply