Water Availability Task Force meeting recap: The weather could get cooler and wetter over the summer



From the Vail Daily (Scott N. Miller):

Snowpack across the state, which fills rivers and reservoirs, is remarkably low, thanks to unusually warm and dry conditions in March. The entire state is dry, but the Colorado River Basin has its lowest snowpack recorded in the last 45 years. A presentation [ed. at the CWCB’s Water Availability Task Force] by State Climatologist Nolan Doeskin showed that while Eagle County’s average temperatures in March weren’t as higher as those seen in Denver, they were still four to six degrees higher than normal. That was enough to start snowpack melting about a month before it usually peaks…

Klaus Wolter, of the Boulder-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the models so far show the prospect of a cooler, drier late spring and early summer. The current “La Nina” weather pattern — fueled by cooler-than-normal water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator — has seen alternating wet and dry months, Wolter said, meaning May could be dry…

But the models also show more moisture coming in July, August and September, especially if an “El Nino” pattern — warmer-than-normal water in the equatorial Pacific — develops. Wolter put the odds of that happening at perhaps 40 percent…

While a cooler, wetter summer might help take some pressure off local water systems, it won’t put an appreciable amount of water back into the streams. That means there’s a real chance that outdoor watering will be restricted.

I live tweeted the meeting hash code #cwcbwatf.

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