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Old 03-22-2010   #1
River Malt's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 124
Pray for a WET Spring!

Just got this information from River Mediator so i thought i'd share it with everyone here. Looks like we are on pace for a drought year like we were in 2002! Hopefully, we'll get the Wet El Nino spring!

Happy boating!

Data compares South platte and Colorado River watersheds for cummulative precip and snow pack:
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File Type: pdf Snowpack and precip 3-22-10.pdf (189.3 KB, 110 views)

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Old 03-22-2010   #2
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Evergreen, Colorado
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"We're gonna need a bigger boat"
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Old 03-22-2010   #3
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Summit, Colorado
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Coloradoan article

Big snow on the way to the Front Range Tuesday and Wednesday | | The Coloradoan
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Old 03-22-2010   #4
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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This from sounds promising:

Long range forecast / discussion...March 28 to 31

--It looks like winter made sure to leave good snow storms for spring. After a Monday - Wednesday (29th - 31st) break (partly cloudy/ mostly sunny, milder), we may see a strong late week storm, and another snow storm that weekend, for frequent snowfall during the first several days of April. Pacific storms (with snow) should move through with good frequency right into mid April, to finish off the season on an improved note we believe (improved weekly snow amounts compared to weekly mid winter totals).--
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 03-22-2010   #5
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Boulder, Colorado
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Nice graph. Seems like a bit of doom and gloom to say we're looking like 2002 though. Looking at the snowpack water content graphs (the ones we care about), the S. Platte looks a lot more like 2008-2009 to date, but last year there was a huge spike in early-mid April (funny, I don't really remember that storm).

The Colorado River graph was following the '02 trend but started to diverge upward the last couple weeks.

Seems like the problem with '02 was not just a bad winter snowpack but hot and dry March and April with the peak in snowpack occurring much earlier than in normal years. Even if we get average precip from now on we'll do much better than '02 and one big storm could turn us around entirely.
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Old 03-22-2010   #6
Fort Collins, Colorado
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I'd say 2002 drought is a little much....

I usually check NRCS this time of year.

Access Basin Streamflow Forecast Maps | Colorado NRCS

This show's data current as of March 1 per area.

Arkansas is in the green. Poudre is in the 79% as of March 1. I think these last few wet storms should put most places in the green.

Of note... North Platte is ugly as is what appears to be Boulder Creek. Not sure though. I bet the last few dumps helped the front range rivers quite a bit.

More on the way it sounds like.
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Old 03-22-2010   #7
River Malt's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
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I said that we were "on pace" for a 2002 year, but that weas based off Colorado river basin cummulative precip to date, which has been low. I think we will do a lot better than 2002 this year since we are starting to get some decent storms and it looks like there are multiple waves of storms projected. We are already diverging from the low 2002 Coloradso river basin snowpack totals, which is a great sign!
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Old 03-22-2010   #8
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Not only was it hot in March of 2002, but it was also windy as I remember and it seemed to literally blow the moisture out of the state. Rain dance anyone?
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Old 03-22-2010   #9
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
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We're actually on course for drought right now. Though the snow water equivalent shows between 73% and 82% for various SNOTEL sites, a lot is going to depend on what the air temperatures are going to be. Ideally, look for a wet spring, followed by mild temperatures for the best case scenario.This winter has been colder than average. If that trend continues the runoff looks more promising for the summer.
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Old 03-22-2010   #10
The next zone, .
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The upper Ark basin is not even close to 02'..

From what I look at and see out in the BC - we are gettin very close to the same snowpack as we had in 09/07, more than we had in 06, and less than 08. Hey wait I think someone out there owes me a 30 rack of pbr from last year.........

This basin started off slow but the last month we have seen a lot of snow here in the hills of S. Central.. With this next storm that looks like is on the way and if we get a normal april flows at least in the Ark draniage will be similar to 09 and no where close to the nightmare that was 02..

With that said I still hope we get a wet spring!

"I feel better than any other time when I am in the mountains and uh I cant explain it ya know...." - Shawn Farmer..........
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