Very brief explanation of River Flow Reports made available daily on Mountain Buzz
There is a lot of shit on these two pages. Very little is missing when wanting to consider the most critical details influencing the flow of select rivers of the Western United States.
The River/Snow Report is the result of comprehensively assimilating river, snow pack and climatological data for over a hundred rivers of greatest interest to typical boaters. That process of assimilation requires hundreds of daily queries to almost a dozen government agencies. To explain all of the content and potential uses would take hours(days) or even a book to explain. I guess that does make it daunting and perhaps not of interest to everyone. However, most of its essence is readily comprehensible.
Gray lines detail the status by state, green lines detail the status by river basin and other lines detail the status by individual river.
Each state line (gray) provides as a green value the daily SNOTEL site values of total water(inches) in the snow pack(SWE=snow water equivalent) for the entire state. This green value generally increase daily during most of the winter and decreases daily after runoff begins.
Each state line(gray) provides as a blue value the total daily inches of precipitation that occurred across the state. If the blue value corresponds to an increase in SWE then the inch's of precip fell as snow and no runoff should be anticipated. If SWE did not increase or if it is already melted off then precip will likely result in stream flow increases.
Each state line(gray) provides as red values high country average temperatures across the state that affect snow pack. Magenta(reddish) values are average minimum and average maximum temperature. The larger red value is average average temperature. Understanding that freezing is 32 degrees then these values provide knowledge as to how precipitation likely fell(rain vs snow) or whether runoff is likely due to high country above freezing temperatures.
Each river basin line(green) provides as percent of average values for snow pack(green), precipitation(blue) and river flow(black). These values are kinda boring this time of year since most snow pack is melted and river flows are generally post peak runoff and are now in decline. However, the trend of these values provides a valuable understanding of current and future conditions of snow pack and river flow.
Page two provides graphs of state and river basin values.
Each individual river line contains the two most recent weeks of daily average flow and status of today's instantaneous flow. Blue tints indicate flow increase from previous day and orange tints indicate flow decrease. For each river there is a color coded indicator of Boney(black), Recommended(green) or Reconsider!(red) status. Afterward is Current Historical Median CFS and Percent of Median. Next is an analysis of the two most recent weeks change in flow and trends.
Throughout the two pages are currently 2,102 hyperlinks specific to data pertaining to each state, river basin or individual river. These links are symbolically coded(index at bottom of page one) and hyperlinks have font underlined. At the bottom of page one are itemized hyperlinks I consider of substantial interest to river runners. Browse all of these 2,102 hyperlinks as you please. You are sure to find something of interest. I add links as they are discovered and Mountain Buzz is one of my best sources for new links.
The Summary version of the report permits a focused examination of current status and is also ideally suited to viewing on portable viewing devices such as smart phones.
The 10 Day Forecasts is a geographically arranged array of river hydrographs that is still in its initial stages of development. There is a Northern and Southern Rivers version. The data plotted on these graphs is a compilation provided by the River Forecast Centers of the National Weather Service.
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