Snowpack/runoff news: Reclamation is drawing down Ruedi Reservoir

A picture named snowpackcolorado04182011

If you click on the thumbnail graphic to the right you’ll see a good representation of this winter’s La Niña effects on Colorado’s snowpack. Monster snowpack north drier conditions south. Here’s a reportfrom Scott Condon writing for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. From the article:

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation boosted its releases earlier than usual from Ruedi Reservoir in anticipation of the tub filling. The reclamation bureau wants to avoid a scenario like last year when the reservoir filled quickly in June and threatened to send water into the dam’s spillway…

The snowpack in the Upper Fryingpan Valley was 118 percent of average yesterday, with another snowstorm barreling down on the Colorado mountains. The upper snowpack is showing little sign of melting — the inflow to Ruedi was 105 cubic feet per second on Monday. During peak runoff in early June last year it surged to between 1,200 and 2,000 cfs…

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Colorado Basin River Forecast Center foresees an impressive runoff for the Roaring Fork drainage this year. Its April 1 forecast indicated there was a 50 percent chance the flow of the Roaring Fork River at Glenwood Springs will exceed 7,400 cfs and a 25 percent chance peak flow will exceed 8,400 cfs. The average flow is 6,150 cfs. Last year the river peaked at 8,710 cfs in Glenwood Springs on June 11. It was an unusual year: unseasonably warm temperatures in June melted out the high country snowpack in a hurry, creating an intense but brief peak…

About a quarter of the automated Snotel sites operated by the federal agency that measures snowpack logged record levels in the Upper Colorado River region, Kanzer noted. Heavy snowpack translates into ample runoff. The forecast is for reservoirs to receive 110 to 130 percent of average runoff, he said.

Leave a Reply