Is it time to worry yet?
I feel confident in saying that last year (Water Year 2012) for the Arkansas valley was one of the four worst since the Dust Bowl. 2012 was right up there with 1977, 1981, and 2002. Guess what. So far Water Year 2013 is worse. At the moment, we are matching 2002.
Here are two charts. (OK, I can't paste the graphs here, you'll have to look it up yourself) One compares this year so far with the past 6 years and the second compares it with 1981, and 2002 the average and the maximum. (Canít get the data for í77.) This is based on Snotel sites. Some of the Snotel sites are far downstream an donít impact whitewater, but collectively they are a good measure of central tendency. The upper Snotel sites, more indicative of whatís in store for Granite and on down through Browns (for example, Bromely) are even worse that the average. If you want to play this game yourself, check out:
then select Basin SWE line graphs
You can run the numbers for all the Colorado drainages and pick up to 6 years to compare on the graph. Have fun. Itís supposed to snow Friday and Saturday.