#Runoff/#Snowpack news: In the #AnimasRiver Valley highs in the 60s and plenty of solar radiation have kicked off the snowmelt season

Screen shot of the USGS Water Watch streamflow map for Colorado March 30, 2019.

From The Durango Herald (Jonathan Romeo):

A water gauge on the Animas River near the Powerhouse Science Center saw levels rise from 300 cubic feet per second Monday to more than 700 cfs as of Friday afternoon.

Water levels came close, but not close enough, to a previous high for March 29 set in 1916 of 1,100 cfs. The water gauge near the Powerhouse has 108 years of records.

Throughout the past week, daytime highs have lingered in the mid-60s, prompting the first round of snowmelt and runoff…

But early next week, Kormos said temperatures will rise once again, and the river along with it. By late next week, the center calls for the Animas River to exceed 1,000 cfs, though Kormos noted forecasts that far out are difficult to predict.

According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Animas, Dolores, San Juan and San Miguel river basins are at 161 percent of historic, normal averages as of Wednesday, the latest available data. Those snow totals, however, are taken from weather stations placed in high elevations…

The rise in water and promise of a sustained spring runoff is a welcome sight to members of the boating community, especially after one of the lowest water years on record in 2018.

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