Colorado Snowpack Better Than Last Year But Still Below Normal

Colorado Snowpack Better Than Last Year But Still Below Normal

roger
roger

January 16th, 2003, 4:33 pm #1

Certainly, anything will help this year's snowpack, which stands at 85 percent of normal, said Mike Gillespie of the Colorado Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Last year at this time, the snowpack was a grim 65 percent of the average of the past 30 years.
The wettest basin in the state is the Gunnison River Basin, at 88 percent of average snow-water equivalent, according to figures provided Friday by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The snow-water equivalent is a measure of how much water is in the snow.
The Upper Colorado Basin is at 87 percent of average. The Yampa and White basins are at 83 percent, and the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan river basins are 79 percent of normal.
At 71 percent and on the Front Range, the South Platte River Basin is the driest in the state, and the Arkansas River Basin is at 81 percent of normal. In the San Luis Valley, the Upper Rio Grande Basin marked 72 percent of normal.
Exacerbating the low snowpack numbers are low reservoir levels, Gillespie said.
As of Dec. 31, the state's reservoirs were only 31 percent filled, said the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
In the Colorado River Basin, reservoirs average 29 percent full. Dillon Reservoir is a little more than half full, at 56 percent, but Green Mountain stands at 26 percent filled, Ruedi at 46 percent and Vega at 11 percent.
The largest reservoir in the state, Blue Mesa, held only 34 percent of its capacity, while Taylor Park was at 39 percent and Ridgway was at 72 percent. Morrow Point was 91 percent full. Gunnison Basin reservoirs held 42 percent of their capacity.
http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/newsfd/a ... .4162.html
Last edited by dipper on January 16th, 2003, 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dan R.
Dan R.

January 16th, 2003, 5:38 pm #2

Guess I didn't realize Colorado = THE WEST.

I think that would be better titled "Colorado Snowpack Better Than Last Year But Still Below Normal". I know, I know... not as attention grabbing.
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roger
roger

January 16th, 2003, 6:50 pm #4

Guess I didn't realize Colorado = THE WEST.

I think that would be better titled "Colorado Snowpack Better Than Last Year But Still Below Normal". I know, I know... not as attention grabbing.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) The first snapshot of this year's water supply indicates northern Idaho will face serious problems if snowpack levels do not increase.
Last year the area received above-average snowfall.
Based on current snowpack, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources and Conservation Service predicts that streamflows across that state will range from half of normal in the Bear River basin in southeastern Idaho to normal levels in the central mountains.
Officials at Idaho Power Co. are also watching snowpack carefully because the streamflows will determine how much power the utility can generate from its dams. Snowpack in the mountains that feed the majority of dams relied on by the state's largest electric utility is 72% to 82% of average, according to the latest report.
http://www.weather.com/newscenter/topst ... dedID.html
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roger
roger

January 16th, 2003, 6:51 pm #5

Guess I didn't realize Colorado = THE WEST.

I think that would be better titled "Colorado Snowpack Better Than Last Year But Still Below Normal". I know, I know... not as attention grabbing.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP)- As Utah heads into its fifth year of drought, the chances of even an average spring snowpack are dwindling.
If the dry conditions persist for the rest of January, only record snowfall for the rest of the winter could build up a normal snowpack.
''That's the ugly fact of the matter,'' said Randy Julander, snow survey supervisor for the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service in Salt Lake City.
As of Jan. 1, the northern Utah snowpack was about 75 percent of average, with the snow on mountains around Provo somewhat lower. The usual January storms have failed to materialize so far.
''We really haven't had substantial snowpack increases since that time,'' Julander said. Now, snowpacks are about 65 percent of normal in northern Utah, while Provo is below 60 percent.
http://www.trib.com/AP/wire_detail.php?wire_num=57604
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Dan R.
Dan R.

January 17th, 2003, 8:20 pm #6

BOISE, Idaho (AP) The first snapshot of this year's water supply indicates northern Idaho will face serious problems if snowpack levels do not increase.
Last year the area received above-average snowfall.
Based on current snowpack, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources and Conservation Service predicts that streamflows across that state will range from half of normal in the Bear River basin in southeastern Idaho to normal levels in the central mountains.
Officials at Idaho Power Co. are also watching snowpack carefully because the streamflows will determine how much power the utility can generate from its dams. Snowpack in the mountains that feed the majority of dams relied on by the state's largest electric utility is 72% to 82% of average, according to the latest report.
http://www.weather.com/newscenter/topst ... dedID.html
Again, you sensationalized the data again to make a catchy headline. The 72-82% number is the snowpack in the areas that feed Idaho Power's dams. The numbers vary from 56% to 124%.

ftp://ftp.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/data/snow/update/id.txt
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roger
roger

January 17th, 2003, 8:34 pm #7

I just pull from the articles.

I'm curious from the map and the site you provided, what's the situation on Borah? My reading of it is that Borah has above average snowpack.
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Dan R.
Dan R.

January 17th, 2003, 10:32 pm #8

Borah would be in the Big Lost drainage, which is 110% of normal.
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Ken Akerman
Ken Akerman

January 27th, 2003, 3:37 pm #9

Certainly, anything will help this year's snowpack, which stands at 85 percent of normal, said Mike Gillespie of the Colorado Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Last year at this time, the snowpack was a grim 65 percent of the average of the past 30 years.
The wettest basin in the state is the Gunnison River Basin, at 88 percent of average snow-water equivalent, according to figures provided Friday by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The snow-water equivalent is a measure of how much water is in the snow.
The Upper Colorado Basin is at 87 percent of average. The Yampa and White basins are at 83 percent, and the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan river basins are 79 percent of normal.
At 71 percent and on the Front Range, the South Platte River Basin is the driest in the state, and the Arkansas River Basin is at 81 percent of normal. In the San Luis Valley, the Upper Rio Grande Basin marked 72 percent of normal.
Exacerbating the low snowpack numbers are low reservoir levels, Gillespie said.
As of Dec. 31, the state's reservoirs were only 31 percent filled, said the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
In the Colorado River Basin, reservoirs average 29 percent full. Dillon Reservoir is a little more than half full, at 56 percent, but Green Mountain stands at 26 percent filled, Ruedi at 46 percent and Vega at 11 percent.
The largest reservoir in the state, Blue Mesa, held only 34 percent of its capacity, while Taylor Park was at 39 percent and Ridgway was at 72 percent. Morrow Point was 91 percent full. Gunnison Basin reservoirs held 42 percent of their capacity.
http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/newsfd/a ... .4162.html
In Pennsylvania, farmers are more optimistic about 2003 when it comes to the drought. The state and much of the Northeast is getting relief from all the snow.

In Nebraska, however, concern has begun to surface that drought could cut into economic development.

"It would bring economic development to a standstill if (companies) see that there is a water crisis going on," said <a href=mailto:garyperson@hamilton.net>Gary Person</a>, city manager in <a href=http://www.sidney-nebraska.com/>Sidney</a>.

<a href=http://www.weather.com/newscenter/topst ... html>Click here to read the rest of the article</a>.

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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 27th, 2003, 10:53 pm #10

Certainly, anything will help this year's snowpack, which stands at 85 percent of normal, said Mike Gillespie of the Colorado Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Last year at this time, the snowpack was a grim 65 percent of the average of the past 30 years.
The wettest basin in the state is the Gunnison River Basin, at 88 percent of average snow-water equivalent, according to figures provided Friday by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The snow-water equivalent is a measure of how much water is in the snow.
The Upper Colorado Basin is at 87 percent of average. The Yampa and White basins are at 83 percent, and the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan river basins are 79 percent of normal.
At 71 percent and on the Front Range, the South Platte River Basin is the driest in the state, and the Arkansas River Basin is at 81 percent of normal. In the San Luis Valley, the Upper Rio Grande Basin marked 72 percent of normal.
Exacerbating the low snowpack numbers are low reservoir levels, Gillespie said.
As of Dec. 31, the state's reservoirs were only 31 percent filled, said the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
In the Colorado River Basin, reservoirs average 29 percent full. Dillon Reservoir is a little more than half full, at 56 percent, but Green Mountain stands at 26 percent filled, Ruedi at 46 percent and Vega at 11 percent.
The largest reservoir in the state, Blue Mesa, held only 34 percent of its capacity, while Taylor Park was at 39 percent and Ridgway was at 72 percent. Morrow Point was 91 percent full. Gunnison Basin reservoirs held 42 percent of their capacity.
http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/newsfd/a ... .4162.html
Arizona, one of the fastest growing states, has been slow to limit water use, with Flagstaff the only city to impose restrictions. Even with the Salt River Project cut, Phoenix has only a voluntary program, asking residents to reduce use by 5 percent. Last year was a tie for Phoenix's driest year on record, with just 2.8 inches of rain.

But water experts say lower-than-normal snow packs have reduced water levels in the Colorado, and none of the Salt River Project reservoirs are full. The largest, Theodore Roosevelt Lake, stood at 13 percent of capacity this week, one of its lowest levels. Another, Horseshoe Reservoir, was dry. Reservoirs on the two river systems combined were at 27 percent of capacity.

While Phoenix and Tucson are beginning to confront the drought, the forested regions of Arizona are facing a new problem, one that could help produce a summer wildfire season worse than last year's, when a record number of square miles burned in the state.


Trillions of bark beetles are lying dormant in the trees of the state's 3.3 million acres of ponderosa pine and piñon juniper forests. The drought has left many of the trees dehydrated, without enough sap to protect them from the beetles.


Tom DeGomez, director of the University of Arizona Extension Forest Health Program, said the beetles destroyed more than 600,000 acres of pines last year, the worst outbreak ever, and could make the wildfire devastation "10 times worse" this year by creating more fuel. The beetle feeding season begins in April, and even without the beetles, the National Interagency Fire Center is predicting an "above normal" fire season.


More:
New York Times, January 27, 2002
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