Predicting future runoff? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-07-2019   #1
 
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Predicting future runoff?

I've very recently chimed in regarding valuable parameters significant to future runoff.

Ya know, I did this without asking what online considerations someone else might use to extrapolate future runoff.

Yo, please suggest any and all potential interactions of information that lend credence to our future predictions of flow.

I will do what I can to interrelate our understanding of details to predict future flow. Hey, man, I'm that dog.

Perhaps now the dog can chase the tail for hopefully the benefit of all.

Thanks kindly,
Ron

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Old 01-07-2019   #2
 
Littleton, Colorado
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I would like to know the exact cfs per day on every river in the state if you don't mind. Id prefer a calendar through 2054ish.
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Old 01-07-2019   #3
 
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The short of the long of it all goes like this. Winter comes, it gets cold. Snow falls from the sky. We ski. Spring comes, it warm up. Snow starts to melt and run off. We boat. The more snow, the more water. This you can count on. Future weather predictions you can't.
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Old 01-08-2019   #4
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I think you were after the intelligent people that had some real factors that perhaps you have not considered. Unfortunately, I think the title (and the fact that its the buzz) has led you to these less than helpful responses. I wish I had time to think about some other considerations for the project but I'm sure anything I may consider valid has been considered. Good luck finding some more brain power with time to geek out on this shit more than you!! Whatever you do predict, you'll have to get down to the Ark this year. Its been awhile.
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Old 01-08-2019   #5
 
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Thanks Zach, I realized my mistake and am trying to remove this thread.

Lesson learned, don't use MB text window as a scratch pad to compose a rough draft.

How is your homestead progressing?
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Old 01-08-2019   #6
 
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I'll agree with ZB that the previous topic was not the best and changed it to something more on topic.

Then NRCC COLORADO BASIN RIVER FORECAST CENTER is pretty good, if anyone knows an equivalent for the eastern side of the divide please post it.

-AH
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Old 01-08-2019   #7
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Place looks a hell of a lot different than last time you were down
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Old 01-08-2019   #8
 
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If you are looking to add in variables on melt I would look at temperature (with some kind of capture of spread from high to low- is it re-freezing at night- for how long etc), cloud cover, wind and dust conditions. Warm, sunny wind storms on dirty snow seem to evaporate up the snowpack painfully quick.

Temps below freezing at night slow it down significantly although perhaps this needs to be transformed for time length of freeze- if it hits 31 for 20 minutes that's nothing like if it hits 24 for a full hour and the time from 32 - 24 and back up.
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Old 01-08-2019   #9
 
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Please Zach, watch your language and the use of the word "hell". I don't want to develop an online reputation of being associated with inappropriate expressions

I'd love to see your place. I'm sure it now has a beautiful great room window overlooking the Arkansas River in your back yard. Your piece of heaven on earth now complete. Can you cast fly's from your back deck as we once joked about?
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Old 01-08-2019   #10
 
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Kayaking Kate,

Thanks for input regarding temps, "dust-in-crust" and wind influences on runoff.

On page two of my report I plot for each western state daily average temperatures at high country SNOTEL stations. In Colorado for example the average minimum, average average and average maximum daily temperature were calculated using daily values from 114 SNOTEL sites that have an average elevation of 10,188'. And as a reminder, SNOTEL sites record the status of that giant reservoir from which all runoff originates. These temps are plotted as dashed red lines.

Granted, a state is a very large area to fiddle with using daily average temperatures to analyze thermal induced runoff but it tends to work surprising well! Passing weather fronts show up as warming and cooling events. Cloudy/rainy days result in a pinching together of average minimum and average maximum lines and sunny/clear days with cold nights broaden the daily temperature variation. I considered including average barometric pressure but that is easily guesstimated by the temperature range for the day and precipitation inches for the day. Likewise, after analyzing solar values they were determined to also be somewhat redundant.

On the graph I include as a faint horizontal red line the critical temperature 32 degrees Fahrenheit. As you pointed out, when a days average minimum temperature(nearly always the night time temp) is above the 32 degree line runoff greatly increases. For that matter, when daily temperature averages are above freezing any precipitation can be generally assumed to be rain on snow pack which really kicks runoff into gear. And for the big runoff event, warm rain on snow-pack is easily deduced using the state graphs.

Concerning the duration of time below freezing,, that to a great extent can be determined by how much below freezing the state wide average minimum is, e.g. an overnight low average temp of 31 degrees likely was a consequence of much shorter duration of time below freezing than an average minimum temperature of perhaps 20 degrees.

Average wind velocity for an entire state might be possible and would be a very worthy addition. Warm winds and wind induced sublimation play havoc on snow-pack. It would be easily plottable by using the right axis of the graph which I already employ for temperature and daily inches of precipitation. This axis ranges from 0 to 100. I do need to mention that the report and graphs are generated in Microsoft Excel which is very limiting. If I generated the graphs in perhaps Grapher or R-Plot much more(anything imaginable!) would be possible such as symbolizing prevailing wind direction.

But calculating prevailing wind direction as a state wide value would be problematic. I tried to do exactly that for just three weather stations equally spaced around the perimeter of a playa lake in the Altiplano of Argentina and failed hopelessly. Guess what, in effect, generally the playa lake literally "breathed", either winds move toward the playa or away from the playa. Neat story but as a whole the general prevailing wind direction resulted in a zero direction conclusion when calculated as a daily average.

As you point out, "Dust-in-crust" has a huge influence on rate of melt. I don't know where to get values of particulates on the surface of snow-pack. I don't recall that SNOTEL site data includes such data. There might be a measure of albedo. I must remember to check. If I found albedo in the data I would need to see how the measure is influenced by cloud cover, etc. I would likely need to be very selective with the values I use.

Hence, many of your great ideas and observations can be interpreted with some degree of imagination from the state and basin graphs on page two and verified by consulting the table on page one. I will work on wind speed and research measures of "Dust-in-crust".

Thanks for your ideas.
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