Snow in the Arkansas River Valley - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-08-2013   #1
 
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Snow in the Arkansas River Valley

So, it has been snowing hard and raining off and on for over the past 5 weeks here in Buena Vista. Dumping snow today. I have heard many great things about the snow pack and how the season will be so much better than in 2012. Does anyone have an official update from the AHRA on voluntary flow program for summer 2013? Excited to see all this moisture in spring to help make summer so much more fun for all.

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Old 05-08-2013   #2
 
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Was looking at the Ark basin snowpack, and wondering the same thing. How much voluntary water is coming over the next 2-4 months? I guess another question is - how full are the lakes to let out voluntary flow?

This graph looks better than last year, but still not the greatest.
ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/CO/Sno...nplotark13.gif
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Old 05-08-2013   #3
 
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Sounds like the full allocation of project water will be moved this season. Rdnek would know the numbers better, but it's something like 50k+ acre feet. However, most of that water never sees the Ark proper, but only Lake Creek. Latest projections are calling for 50-69% of average runoff for the Ark, but what that translates to in river flow will depend on weather patterns. It could be a long sustained runoff that doesn't get that high, or it could spike big quickly and drop off just as quick....

One good thing is all this recent moisture is saturating the soil so more of the snow that melts should flow as surface water as opposed to soaking into the ground. Dumping at my house right now. 1/2-1" of snow already on the ground and forecast to continue all day.

Last I heard the VFMP was going to maintain 600-700 cfs at Wellsville from July 1 - August 15th this season, but haven't actually heard an official report.
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Old 05-08-2013   #4
 
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Yea the snow we are seeing is pretty much unprecedented here around Buena Vista. There is getting to be a fair amount of snow and it is still full on winter above 10k. Put that together with the fact that the Ark has been running at pretty much historical low flows until now the season is starting to look good.

As far as what water will go where - weather patterns will still play the biggest roll but the latest is that the full allotment of water is probable for the flow program this summer. That is great news. Last year I believe 10 - 12k came through the tunnel and this year they are fingers crossed thinking more in the area of 45k - 55k. Great news if you like to boat on Lake Creek.

Last year the Ark peaked this week... What a change a year can make.

From what I see and what I hear - we will see a actual run off once it warms up enough to start the melt. Then starting on July 1st there will be a flow program that will last until August 15th. This is great news as it is shaping up to be a "normal" water year on the Ark.
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Old 05-08-2013   #5
 
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Thanks for the info. Yes it is going to be so much better than a year ago, here is a pic from this am
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Old 05-08-2013   #6
 
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Been a crazy spring around here. The best comparable I can think of is 1995 when winter didn't let go until Mid-June and we had historic high flows. The difference, with regards to flows, is that year we had better snow during the actual winter and I assume higher reservoir levels.

Either way this has been an amazing comeback and I will be stoked with whatever we get. That is good news on the flow program.

As far as the peak flows it is interesting to compare the snowpack this year to 2010. If you look at where we are now in snow water equivalent and time we are very close to where we were in 2010 and I believe the peak was over 4k that year because it got so hot so fast. Lets hope it warms slowly and we get a nice sustained higher flow.

Stoked!
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Old 05-09-2013   #7
 
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PS. Still snowing in BV , hard. This is getting wild.
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Old 05-09-2013   #8
 
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Over 1" of moisture at my house in 3 days. Rain gauge is full with heavy snow coming down again.....



latest report from Twin Lakes is 13" and still falling.
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Old 05-09-2013   #9
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it snowed like 10'' in crested butte yesterday......
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Old 05-09-2013   #10
 
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Still snowing/ sleeting..... That was super wet snow we got here yesterday and heavy rain the day before.... "bring it on".... I'll try to check access to our creeks tomorrow.... Gotta be getting close.... It's still winter here... It feels like January 82nd here....
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