#Snowpack is dropping across the state, still above the median

Click on a thumbnail graphic below to view a gallery of snowpack data from the NRCS.

From The Mountain Mail (Brian McCabe):

Despite a slightly drier February, snowpack for the Arkansas River Basin measures 143 percent above median, while statewide snowpack is at 139 percent, the Natural Resources Conservation Service reported.

Reservoir storage for the Arkansas Basin at the end of February was 103 percent of average, down from 124 percent last year.

Current streamflow forecasts range from 125 percent of average for the Arkansas River at Salida to 98 percent of average for Grape Creek near Westcliffe.

Snowpack is also above average around the rest of the state, ranging from 155 percent for the Gunnison Basin to 125 percent for the combined Laramie, North Platte, Yampa and White basins.

“With one more month of the primary snow accumulation season behind and above-normal snowpacks across the state in combination with these near-normal reservoir storages, water supply shortages in Colorado are looking less and less likely for the upcoming summer months,” said Brian Domonkos, NRCS Colorado snow survey supervisor.

“Despite areas that experienced below-normal monthly snow accumulations during February and localized periods of unseasonably warm temperatures, the exceptional snowpack that fell during January allowed the mountains to remain at least 120 percent above normal in all areas,” he said.

State reservoir storage had a small net gain between February and March and is now at 107 percent of average storage. All major basins are retaining more water relative to normal.

“Thanks to the abundant snowfall this water year, 2017 is projected to be the first year since 2008 that the entire state is expected to have above normal April-July streamflow volumes,” Domonkos said.

Here’s the westwide basin-filled SNOTEL map from the NRCS.

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map March 20, 2017 via the NRCS.

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