From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):
Federal officials project low runoff in streams due to dry soil statewide
The snowpack in Colorado’s mountains has reached 93% of normal, federal survey data showed Tuesday — lagging slightly at the moment when cities and food growers decide whether water supplies will be sufficient for crops, cattle and a growing population.
While recent heavy snow bodes well, measured in relation to the norm between 1981 and 2010, federal forecasters on Tuesday also warned they’re expecting “below normal” water flows in streams and rivers once snow melts due to decades of mostly increasing aridity…
Colorado’s northern and eastern river basins generally received heavier snow.
Snowpack in the closely-watched Colorado River Basin — 40 million people and growers across seven western states rely on it — was at 89% of the norm.
Southwestern Colorado faced the driest conditions with snowpack measured in the combined San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan river watersheds at 87% of normal.
The South Platte River watershed had 102% of normal snowpack, and the level was 111% of the norm along the upper Rio Grande River. Arkansas River watershed snowpack was at 110%. In northern Colorado, snowpack along the Yampa and White rivers was at 91% of the norm, and the North Platte and Laramie watersheds had 97% of normal.