Snowpack prognosis positive - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-26-2016   #1
 
Denver, Colorado
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Snowpack prognosis positive

So we got hammered with snow.The northern Colo. drainages were at near average snowpack before the blizzard and the so. Colo. basins were at 80/90%. Obviously this is good ,especially since it is semi late for melting off before temperatures are suitable for boating much.Combine this with reservoirs being full from last year( I assume) and we should have a decent long season.I saw the news claiming Steamboat had their best snow in 20 years,Telluride got 22", Boulder 25", Loveland and WinterPark tons,etc.We got apx14" in East Denver,super heavy wet sttuff too.

So enough for the weather report,I guess what I want to know is about local predictions for the season everywhere regionally.Front Range,Dolores,and Northern New Mexico,interest me the most.The complicated plumbing of the South Platte releases still bewilders me.If res's are full but east plains has ample water for farmers then they still have to release to accommodate incoming water ,right? If they don' t need the water early then we get flows from Robert's to fullfill our allotment late ,correct or no?I am hoping for good flows on the South Platte play runs early( last year was a bit much) and North Fork late...prognosis negative or positive?

Utah?

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Old 03-26-2016   #2
 
Great Falls, Montana
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We were told we wouldn't get any snow this year due to El Ninio. (sorry spelling) and we certainly didn't break any records, but I'm amazed at how much snow we got in MT and ID for an El Ninio year. More than last year for sure. GREATFUL!
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Old 03-26-2016   #3
 
cedar city, Utah
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Some of the Dolores managers are saying slim chance, but that was from a meeting before these storms.

Latest Release Update

Still only at 82% according to data.

Average year on the Yampa. Could be a good year to have a Dino permit.

Can't wait for a long float trip!

Phillip
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Old 03-26-2016   #4
 
Salida, Colorado
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Still too early to tell. Last year it didn't START to snow in CO until mid April and continued through the end of May. We went from dire snowpack to phenomenal snowpack in 6 weeks. No snow in that timeline this year could drop us to 70% in quick time and a runoff would be complete in early June. So we still have to wait and see.

But the word on current conditions is the reservoirs in the Upper Ark basin are pretty much full and water will be flowing regardless of late spring snowfall. Seems like everything north of Hwy 50 on up to Idaho should have a good year but not so much for the areas to the south and into NM/AZ.
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Old 03-27-2016   #5
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Originally Posted by DoStep View Post
Still too early to tell. Last year it didn't START to snow in CO until mid April and continued through the end of May. We went from dire snowpack to phenomenal snowpack in 6 weeks. No snow in that timeline this year could drop us to 70% in quick time and a runoff would be complete in early June. So we still have to wait and see.

But the word on current conditions is the reservoirs in the Upper Ark basin are pretty much full and water will be flowing regardless of late spring snowfall. Seems like everything north of Hwy 50 on up to Idaho should have a good year but not so much for the areas to the south and into NM/AZ.
We are definitely getting closer to where we were last year, but I wouldn't hold out hope that April and May are going to be as wet as last year. That was as much moisture as I have ever seen in those 2 months around here....

Reservoirs are still quite full, but we should know more about what the runoff will look like once the Front Range entities can estimate their west slope imports come April 1.

The difference between 80-100% of average on free flowing tributaries like Chalk Creek and the South Fork of the Ark can be huge. We are at the point where we need good continuous moisture and/or cold temperatures to maintain our snow or we may be looking at a mediocre runoff with a long period of maintained dam release...
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Old 03-27-2016   #6
 
Florence, Colorado
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Weather channel is saying warm weather and drier April as we transition to an el Nina cycle. Still nice to see this weekends moisture. And how often do they really get this stuff right?! One huge late storm can make a big difference too. Run it, whatever it is.
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Old 03-28-2016   #7
 
Durango, Colorado
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Originally Posted by formerflatlander View Post
Weather channel is saying warm weather and drier April as we transition to an el Nina cycle. Still nice to see this weekends moisture. And how often do they really get this stuff right?! One huge late storm can make a big difference too. Run it, whatever it is.
Considering that long term weather forecast are extremely inaccurate, and that the Weather Channel has no understanding whatsoever of weather in the mountains, I would not place too much importance on it.
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Old 03-28-2016   #8
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Snowpack prognosis positive

In my 17 years of commercial guiding on the Ark, April always scares me. It seems March is usually good to us and the stoke is on with dreams of highwater til August. April comes and she will either confirm what we are all thinking in March or she will turn the heat on and it all flows down to Pueblo reservoir, along with our hopes and all the dreams we had in March. The prediction models that are coming out for the upcoming months have changed a few times this winter. I'm not expecting anything like last season but I'm sure we will get a couple of medium to big storms before its all said and done. I'm stoked to be taking down trips in April so I'm happy to get on the Ark either way!


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Old 03-28-2016   #9
 
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Castle Rock, Colorado
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Anyone know where you can get a link to that snowpack map that show's % of average across Colorado? I had a link for that last year, but it doesn't work any more. I realize one can look at the raw data, but that's too much work if just looking for a ballpark snapshot.
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Old 03-28-2016   #10
 
Florence, Colorado
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This is the site I've been using for snowpack info. No graphic but really informative.http://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/reports/...+Update+Report
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