Upper #SanJuanRiver Basin #snowpack, #drought, and #streamflow report — The #PagosaSprings Sun #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):

Snow report

Wolf Creek Ski Area got another round of snow, with 6 inches falling throughout the day on Tuesday, Oct. 26, according to its snow report.

The ski area has received 28 inches so far this season.

According to the U.S. Depart- ment of Agriculture (USDA) National Water and Climate Center’s snow pack report, the Wolf Creek summit, at 11,000 feet of elevation, had 3 inches of snow water equivalent as of 10 a.m. on Oct. 27.

The San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River basins were at 431 percent of the Oct. 27 median in terms of snow pack.

River report

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the San Juan River was flowing at a rate of 80.4 cfs in Pagosa Springs as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27.

Based on 86 years of water records at this site, the lowest recorded flow rate for this date is 29 cfs, recorded in 1967.

The highest recorded rate for this date was in 1942 at 870 cfs.

The average flow rate for this date is 133 cfs.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, the Piedra River near Arboles was flowing at a rate of 66.2 cfs.

The highest recorded rate for this date was 645 cfs in 1999.

A new lowest recorded rate was recorded this year for this date, earlier in the day, at 40.4 cfs.

Based on 59 years of water re- cords at this site, the average flow rate for that date is 158 cfs.

The highest recorded rate for this date was 4,140 cfs in 1973.

Colorado Drought Monitor map October 26, 2021.

Drought report

The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) was last updated on Oct. 19.

The NIDIS website indicates 100 percent of Archuleta County is ab- normally dry.

The percentage of the county in a moderate drought is listed at 69.81 percent.

The NIDIS website also notes that 47.66 percent of the county is in a severe drought stage, which is up slightly from last week’s report of 42.68 percent.

Additionally, the NIDIS website notes that 9.12 percent of the county, mostly the southwestern portion of the county, remains in an extreme drought, consistent with the previous report.

The NIDIS website notes that under an extreme drought stage, large fires may develop and pasture conditions worsen.

No portion of the county is in an exceptional drought.

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