I mentioned earlier today activation of hyperlinks to the NRCS Snow-to-Flow Graphs provided by the Utah Data Collection Office.
I undertook a task to demonstrate the practical value of these graphs using perhaps the best examples of free flowing rivers
and the two rivers I'm receiving the most questions about; the MF Salmon and the Yampa.
The process is to find best matches of current status with the status at the current date in previous years. Of course, the future is not easy to predict but we are at least able to visually match current content in the snow pack, river status and an empirical relationship of trends. Also, by taking into consideration the NOAA outlooks(Row 1 columns 33-35) we can perhaps factor in some aspect of future meteorological influences; for example the outlook for these two rivers are warmer and dryer than average.
Briefly, by opening the hyperlink in column 32 to the Snow-to-Flow graphic for the MF Salmon, 2012,
was identified to be the best match. Please examine and see if you concur(I feel as though I reading Spock's script from a Star Trek episode).
Likewise, I believe for the Yampa, 2013,
is the best fit.
For both of these rivers, the NOAA outlook for this year matches the suggestion of patterns for these two rivers in the identified previous years, which is, warmer than average temperatures and lower than average precipitation resulting in a steady depletion of snow pack going forward with peaks likely caused by thermal events(heatwaves) or thunderstorms(rain on snow pack) that in no way contribute to the late season snow pack.
Other people have mentioned, Beau recognizes and again I suggested today to Beau that it would be ideal to define all predictive parameters, i.e.; if only temperature and precipitation could be over plotted in some way on the Snow-to-Flow Plot. Let's leave that to Beau's magic to figure out how.
On page two of my report many of these parameters are graphed for the current two weeks. For each state I provide snow pack trends, temperature status and trends, precip events and river flow (index) responses. In the future I'd like to bring into play temperatures relative to average at both the state and basin level. Once they are in place we can continue this discussion in the future.