I was thinking about resurrecting this thing yesterday and since it's back up I'll add my thought:
I don't know how much people follow that little map on the first post but I've used it for years to get a picture of what's going on around the west and my usual stomping grounds. When this post started, much of Montana, Wyoming and Northern Colorado were signigicantly above normal. Look at it today! Many basin's aren't even listed and of those that are the highest is 82% in central wyoming. This is truly a bleak picture for the entire west! True, pacific states and the SW have it much worse than we interior states but this is truly a depressing sight.
On a related note I wonder if the NRCS site is having issues because yesterday there were values in the mid 70's for SW MT and significant representation in CO, but it was still depressing, 70- 80% of normal were the highest values. This is really a regional drought.... like most of the Louisiana Purchase!
Yet further off topic: I've been reading freemonts account of his initial exploration of the Platte and Arkansas rivers in 1842 and he states that the year was a major drought as the indians were fairing very poorly and were constantly on the move for grass for their animals and for game, the rivers were unusually low and several American Fur company brigades had to abandon their furs because they literally could not float them down the Platte.
Third tangent: On his return trip he attempted to float the Sweetwater and North Platte rivers in wyoming in several places. I was not able to figure out his locality in my head but he had carried and "india rubber boat" up from St Louis and cached it near South Pass. It was an inflatable raft that carried (and ultimately lost) most of their gear as well as half a dozen voyageurs. I believe he may be the first "Western Rafter"! And he did it in a drought year so why not us?
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae