From The Vail Daily (Scott N. Miller) via Steamboat Today:
Streamflows have risen quickly this season, thanks to warm weather, and may be close to seasonal peaks, depending on where you are.
As of Monday, the Colorado River between the Pumphouse campground and State Bridge was running at 2,200 cubic feet per second, the lower range of “runnable,” according to http://americanwhitewater.org.
Several miles downstream, the Colorado River between the Hanging Lake exit off Interstate 70 and the Shoshone Power Plant was running at 5,070 cubic feet per second.
Both of those streamflow readings were declines from the previous day’s reading.
Monday flows on the Eagle River had also declined from the previous day’s reading, with the stretch between Edwards and Eagle running at 1,560 cubic feet per second, the lower range of runnable for rafts.
Those streamflows should decline even more this week, given the weather forecast. According to the National Weather Service’s forecast for Avon, daytime temperatures were forecast to drop into the mid-40s from Wednesday through Friday. Those lower temperatures are expected to be accompanied by a solid chance of rain or snow.
The good news from the temperature drop is that snowpack will linger on the hillsides a bit longer.
The better news is that delayed runoff also lessens the chance of flooding.
Eagle County Emergency Management Director Barry Smith said at the moment, there’s no real flood danger in the county.
Smith said he watches overnight low temperatures from Leadville as a kind of guide to whether high-elevation snowpack is about to start melting in earnest. If overnight lows in the higher elevation stay below freezing — 32 degrees — then the snowpack will mostly stay in place.
So far, those overnight lows have stayed cold.
Even with an average snow year — or below-average in some locations — Smith said flooding worries can still arise with a warm spring.