Originally Posted by Andy H.
So here's a question for someone that's got a bit more hydrology know-how than I do. the Snotel graph up in Logan's post (current) shows a double peak and is bumping up again, however streamflow hasn't really gotten above baseflow much. Does this mean that the soil moisture is building up so that when the runoff starts, it'll start flowing more directly into the streams?
Thus to get a real understanding of runoff we can expect, you'd add the second peak to the first?
Thanks for any info!
It does Andy. The high elevation snow hasn't started to melt at all yet, but snow from the 9000-10500' level has, and has started to soak into the stream beds and raise the water table. I was up boating Fractions/Numbers yesterday and the ground is saturated. There was still 4+ inches of wet snow on the ground and there was visible surface runoff. The inside of the tunnels were raining.... the river gauges are currently at historically low levels for mid-May, but that is going to change very quickly.
Here is the updated snotel plot:
87% of average and 308% of last year! One big thing to remember is that the numbers on this plot include the Sangre De Cristo's which is almost always below average, and doesn't contribute to the upper basin. Freemont Pass is 107% of average as of this morning.
Here is another interesting graph, showing peak flow predictions at Salida. The numbers update 5 times a month and haven't updated yet since April 25th...... So I would take these numbers as a conservative estimate at this point, and I do think peak will probably be a week or so later than this graph is showing.
Originally Posted by BrianK
Those graphs are SWE (snow water equivalent) graphs not snow depth graphs. I'm not sure how accurate these are, but these readings do attempt to take into account the water content of the snow pack. What they don't take into account is the ground water saturation which is greatly helped by late season rains.
I am happy that the ark is doing better, but check out the South Platte:
All you ark valley folk are welcome to come down to the Front Range to enjoy some of our water. We won't hold years of you bad mouthing us against you.
That's great that the South Platte is above average! I look forward to an opportunity to boat the Poudre again.... and I've never ran Clear Creek. Several sections there I would like to check out. I just have a hard time driving to the front range for anything, but for kayaking I can make an exception!