Has Front Range run-off hit its peak? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-07-2005   #1
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Has Front Range run-off hit its peak?

Just wandering if the flow numbers will dwindle from here on out for Golden and other Front Range parks. That is if anybody knows this. If so that was quick.

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Old 06-07-2005   #2
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
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I do believe peak has past. I also believe we will get another smaller peak if we ever get any extended warm temps.
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Old 06-07-2005   #3
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Dave's right. Unless we get some significant rains, what you've seen is what you'll get. The snowpack's about done.

Here's the SNOTEL graph for the South Platte basin:


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 06-07-2005   #4
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I don't think we're there yet. At least not for Clear Creek. The snowpack graph seems to be falling off at about the normal time, but historical average flows have the creek still rising for a couple more weeks.


I doubt that bump above the average was enough to drain the basin, and expect it will get back up above 800 again.

But then I'm an optimist!
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Old 06-07-2005   #5
Ft Collins, Colorado
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i too am optimistic...

looks to be another significant rain event this w/e - especially in the northern mountains - the models are predicting another multi-inch event with the front range exposed to moist gulf flow for several days and good dynamics and some moisture aloft - it won't be as cold, but there could be even more rain than last week

there is still a good amount of snow up high in many places - if we get some heat next week (and we are getting late enough to get solid 90's), I see a peak on the main branch of the poudre higher than the 4.25 ft we have seen so far - same goes for the little sth, which has not peaked above 1 ft yet (1.75 ft is what you want in there), and joe wright which we haven't seen much in yet (note that these are fed by are high elevation, more north facing basins)

the upper north fork really responded to last weeks rain and the 700 cfs on the guage was pretty fun - it could be really good again with the next rain event

did anyone say buckhorn? (I'd recommend waiting for 300 cfs in there)

note that the never summer snotel is still at 138% and it's the last piece of this that is all important for big sth flows after the raod opens in late june (we had a pretty big big sth peak at 4+? ft, which we may not see again - not sure anyone ant anything to do with it that high anyway!)

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Old 06-08-2005   #6
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"Stick a fork in it's ass, turn it over, it's done.&quo

I would like to believe that the season's peak hasn't past, but the Ark looks to be spent. The flow though the Royal Gorge hit 2690 & 2630 two days in a row (28 & 29 May) and today (7 June) it fell to as low as 1310 cfs. Now we are all aware that weather can manipute the flow but the flow has fallen to less than 1/2 of what it was a week ago....1380 cfs gone from the river in one week on a steady downclimb --- regardless of the warm weather we've had the past 4 or 5 days.

I'm guessing that the reservoir lords are trying to refill their tanks with all that above average snowpack just in case 2002 repeats it's self in 2006 or 7 or 8.....

I'm still hoping for a 2nd peak, but I can't see it being higher than the one we already had, IMHO.

Then again, the Gorge could be at 4500 cfs on June 18th. What do I know?
"So in two seconds, away we went, a sliding down the river, and it did seem so good to be free again and all by ourselves on the big river and nobody to bother us." -Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
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