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Discussion Starter #1
Hit a lunch surf session on 3000 cfs. Highlights include massive on the fly surfs as well as rescuing a bums sleeping bag and shoes that were floating in an eddy. Still juicing out there. Biggest water of the year for me, and a ton of fun.

Had a moment of silence for Jeff West out there... fond memmories of Jeff surfing at the ocoee.
 

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WTF??? Did a dam break? I know we have not had rain in awhile, but it did not rain THAT hard. Gauge shows it went from near zero to 3500 and has already dropped back to 2200 and falling 700/hr.

Any good explaintions? Did it rain REALLY hard somewhere?
 

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Rich... if you are a confluence connisuer like me... you would know that connie goes straight up when it rains. Doesn't have to rain hard either, a slow steady rain for hours like today was plenty enough. A good 1/4" or 1/2" of rain is plenty. If you get 1" or more, it can go huge.

The reasons are pretty straight forward. Confluence's watershed is basically the pavement of denver. The flow out of chatfield into the south platte was essentially 0 cfs today. The 3000 grand comes from runoff from the urban streets, parking lots, sidewalks etc. Intead of getting a lot of moisture absorbed into soil (aka infiltration in hydrology speak) a very large portion of metro rainfall goes straight to runoff... down sidewalks, into streets, into the storm drains, and straight into the river.

Denver probably has about 400 square miles of surface area that feeds the south platte via the platte and cherry creek. If a 1/2 inch of rain falls over that area... thats about 450 million cubic feet dropping on the city. Smear those millions of cubic feet out over a day, and its really easy to get 3000 cfs.

I heard the pitter patter of rain when I woke up this morning and put the playboat in the car on the way to work, even though confluence was a measly couple hundred cfs when I checked the gauge in the AM.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Detail Graph

Nicho... the above gauge is the one to use. Its just downstream of the confluence with cherry creek. The gauge you linked is further downstream... downstream gauges can go much higher than confluence depending on where the rain is.
 

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Hard to argue with the math, 400 million cf of water needs to end up someplace.
Usually the spikes I have seen are from monsoon events.
Much cleaner water when it is 99% from Chatfield rather than every gutter in town.
But in a drought year, we take what we get!
 

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Confluence typcially jumps up to several grand a few times a year. A good spring rain/snow mix will pump it up. An august monsoon will pump it up too.

While some hate it... I love it. The bums huddled under the bridge were cheering when I dropped into a monster wave for a surf!
 

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Rich... if you are a confluence connisuer like me... you would know that connie goes straight up when it rains. Doesn't have to rain hard either, a slow steady rain for hours like today was plenty enough. A good 1/4" or 1/2" of rain is plenty. If you get 1" or more, it can go huge.

The reasons are pretty straight forward. Confluence's watershed is basically the pavement of denver. The flow out of chatfield into the south platte was essentially 0 cfs today. The 3000 grand comes from runoff from the urban streets, parking lots, sidewalks etc. Intead of getting a lot of moisture absorbed into soil (aka infiltration in hydrology speak) a very large portion of metro rainfall goes straight to runoff... down sidewalks, into streets, into the storm drains, and straight into the river.

Denver probably has about 400 square miles of surface area that feeds the south platte via the platte and cherry creek. If a 1/2 inch of rain falls over that area... thats about 450 million cubic feet dropping on the city. Smear those millions of cubic feet out over a day, and its really easy to get 3000 cfs.

I heard the pitter patter of rain when I woke up this morning and put the playboat in the car on the way to work, even though confluence was a measly couple hundred cfs when I checked the gauge in the AM.
That kind of sounds like a perfect recipe for disease soup.
 

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Just went for a walk along the river north of Denver and its rollin, it has risen a few feet or more since last night.
 

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Last time I paddled in there with water like that, I was amazed at how many cig lighters were recirculating in this one eddy. There was like 20-30. I was like "do that many people just chuck their lighters out the window when thier done?"
I also remember skipping along on that big dirty wave. Being dirty can be fun.
 

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I must have just missed you, Ian. Despite the nasty water, it was such a pleasure to surf (and sometimes only attempt to surf) a wave whose pile was higher than my head. Crazy how fast it went up and came back down.

I only saw four other boaters out there, which was pretty surprising. Seems a lot of Denver paddlers are afraid to work flex their immune system muscles.
 

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Earplugs, nose plugs, a few shots of whiskey afterwards and it's good clean fun. I got the last of the goods as it was coming down. Saw a couple other of the usual suspects on Trestle, but otherwise quiet out there. It was the only fun bouncy wave hole action on the Front Range all year. Thanks for staying off of it.
 
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