#ColoradoRiver Basin Forecast Center: May 1, 2017 Water Supply Forecast Discussion #COriver

Here’s the summrary from the Colorado River Basin Forecast Center (Click through for the whole forecast):

Water Supply Forecast Summary:

April weather ended up being a mixed bag. Some areas received abundant precipitation while other areas had quite limited precipitation. In addition, the temperature pattern in April included both stretches of several degrees above average and several degrees below average. Overall monthly mean temperatures were cooler than average over the northwestern half of the CBRFC forecast area, and near average over much of the Colorado River Basin. Significant snowmelt occurred in many areas where precipitation was limited, with less melt in parts of the northern Great Basin and Green River Basin of Wyoming where cooler wetter conditions existed.

Streamflows were much above average heading into April after many sites throughout the area experienced record unregulated monthly volumes during March. With so much water in the river systems for this time of year many sites observed above average volumes for April and they were further enhanced by any additional rainfall or snowmelt that occurred. Some sites in the Green River Basin of Wyoming, Duchesne River Basin, Gunnison River Basin, and Great Basin set records in April while many of these also set records in March.

Upper elevation snowpack conditions remain quite significant in the Green River Basin headwaters, Bear River Basin, Weber River Basin, and Duchesne River Basin. Snowpack is also still above average in the Gunnison River Basin headwaters.

Water supply volume forecasts for the April-July period generally decreased across the CBRFC area from those issued in early April. However, most points in the Green River Basin in Wyoming, Bear River Basin, and Weber River Basin had little change from last month. Volume forecasts increased slightly in the Yampa River Basin, Virgin River Basin, and the Six Creeks drainages.

Current April-July forecast volumes are much above average in the Green River Basin of Wyoming, Bear River Basin, Weber River Basin, Provo River Basin, and Duchesne River Basin. Runoff volume forecasts are also still above average in the Gunnison and Dolores River basins. The headwaters of the Colorado River mainstem and the San Juan Basin are currently forecast to receive near average runoff volumes, while the Yampa and White River basins now have forecasts for below average April-July runoff volumes.

April-July unregulated inflow forecasts for some of the major reservoirs in the Upper Colorado River Basin include Fontenelle Reservoir 1.68 MAF (232% of average), Flaming Gorge 2.26 MAF (231% of average), Blue Mesa Reservoir 850 KAF (126% of average), McPhee Reservoir 335 KAF (114% of average), and Navajo Reservoir 695 KAF (95% of average). Lake Powell inflow is forecast at 8.80 MAF (123% of average).

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