Local officials prepare for spring runoff (April 19, 2023) — The #Gunnison Country Times #GunnisonRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver

Click the link to read the article on The Gunnison Country Times website (Bella Biondini). Here’s an excerpt:

On Monday, April 17, Gunnison County Emergency Services hosted a multi-jurisdictional meeting to discuss spring runoff and the possibility of flooding in the Gunnison Valley as temperatures rise. Although the upcoming weather forecast is favorable and no cause for alarm, local officials and law enforcement made sure plans are in place and sandbags are available in the case of rapid snowmelt. Snowpack for the Gunnison Basin sat at approximately 160% of normal on April 9 with more snow on the way. After an exceptionally wet winter, rapid warming has the potential to overfill streams and rivers — putting low-lying areas at risk as the snow finally starts to melt away. 

Temperatures above freezing overnight at higher elevations for several days can lead to expedited snowmelt, National Weather Service (NWS) Hydrologist Erin Walter said during a weather briefing at the start of the meeting. But transitioning into the middle of the week, she said the basin will see the influence of a low pressure system carrying snow and cooler temperatures. 

“This downward turn in temperatures is what we want to see for snowmelt,” Walter said. “If we saw a ridge of high pressure over us and all of these temperatures climbing for a prolonged period of time, that’s when we need to be on high alert.”

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