#Snowpack news: Above average, but dry forecast

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map March 8, 2017 via the NRCS.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Dennis Webb):

Colorado’s snowpack was at 136 percent of normal Monday, as the state moves into March with most river basins already having surpassed average annual peak snowpack levels typically reached in April.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service’s state office in Colorado said in a news release that statewide reservoir storage was at 107 percent of average as of the start of the month, and streamflow forecasts indicate an above-normal runoff year is coming in most watersheds…

The Gunnison River Basin snowpack stood at 147 percent of median Tuesday, and the Upper Colorado River Basin was at 135 percent.

The Yampa/White river basins have the lowest snowpack level in the state, but still are at 119 percent of median. The San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan river basins lead the state, at 149 percent, and the Upper Rio Grande is at 143 percent.

Brian Domonkos, snow survey supervisor for the NRCS in Colorado, said in the release that snowpack has exceeded the peak annual average in all parts of the state but the South Platte and Yampa/White River basins.

Reservoir storage levels were at 107 percent of average in the Upper Colorado River Basin as of the start of the month, and 110 percent of average for the Gunnison River Basin.

While storage is at 91 percent of average for the Rio Grande Basin, the NRCS says that plentiful snow in the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountains is excellent news for water users there, after six years of snowpack failing to reach the normal peak in the basin. Forecasts for the Rio Grande Basin call for normal to above-normal runoff.

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