Water Supply Outlook

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WATER SUPPLY OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
1011 AM MST THU FEB 16 2012

...SPRING FLOOD AND WATER RESOURCES OUTLOOK FOR WESTERN COLORADO
AND EASTERN UTAH NUMBER 2...

THIS 2012 SPRING RUNOFF OUTLOOK IS FOR WESTERN COLORADO AND EASTERN
UTAH COVERING ALL OR PORTIONS OF THE YAMPA/WHITE...UPPER
COLORADO...DUCHESNE...GREEN...GUNNISON...DOLORES AND SAN JUAN RIVER
BASINS.

THE CURRENT VOLUME FORECASTS FOR THE APRIL THROUGH JULY 2012 RUNOFF
PERIOD ARE BELOW AVERAGE FOR ALL BASINS IN WESTERN COLORADO AND
EASTERN UTAH.

THE POTENTIAL FOR SPRING 2012 FLOODING DUE TO SNOWMELT IS NOT HIGH
AT THIS TIME FOR ALL THE BASINS IN WESTERN COLORADO AND EASTERN
UTAH.

IT SHOULD BE EMPHASIZED THAT THESE ARE EARLY ESTIMATES AND IT IS
VERY EARLY IN THE SNOW ACCUMULATION SEASON. SPRING TEMPERATURES
AFFECT THE PATTERN OF SNOWMELT RUNOFF AND CONSEQUENTLY THE MAGNITUDE
OF PEAK FLOWS. IN NORMAL YEARS...ADDITIONAL SNOWPACK CAN ACCUMULATE
IN THE MOUNTAINS THROUGH APRIL. HEAVY RAINFALL OR UNSEASONABLY WARM
TEMPERATURES DURING THE SNOW MELT SEASON CAN AFFECT TOTAL RUNOFF
VOLUME AND INCREASE THE FLOOD THREAT.


OBSERVED PRECIPITATION
----------------------

SO FAR FOR DECEMBER THROUGH EARLY FEBRUARY EASTERN UTAH AND WESTERN
COLORADO HAVE RECEIVED BELOW AVERAGE PRECIPITATION. AREAS ALONG AND
NORTH OF INTERSTATE 70 RECEIVED LESS THAN 50 PERCENT OF NORMAL
PRECIPITATION FOR DECEMBER. FOR JANUARY THE UPPER COLORADO RIVER
BASIN RECEIVED NEAR NORMAL PRECIPITATION WITH THE YAMPA...WHITE AND
GREEN RIVER BASINS RECEIVING WELL BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

THE 2012 WATER YEAR SNOWPACK HAS BEEN WELL BELOW NORMAL FOR MOST OF
THE RIVER BASINS IN EASTERN UTAH AND WESTERN COLORADO. THE SAN JUAN
MOUNTAINS REMAIN BELOW NORMAL FOR SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT BUT NEAR
NORMAL FOR TOTAL PRECIPITATION.

A STORM SYSTEM THE THIRD WEEKEND OF JANUARY HELPED INCREASE SNOW
WATER EQUIVALENT VALUES: 6 PERCENT OF NORMAL IN THE SAN JUAN
MOUNTAINS WITH A 20 AND 22 PERCENT OF NORMAL INCREASE FOR THE GREEN
RIVER BASIN AND SOUTHEASTERN UTAH.

STORMS IN THE LAST PART OF JANUARY AND THE FIRST HALF OF FEBRUARY
HAVE BROUGHT ENOUGH SNOWFALL TO KEEP THE SNOW PACK AT STEADY LEVELS
WITH SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT RANGING FROM 68 PERCENT IN THE YAMPA AND
WHITE RIVER BASINS TO THE LOW 80 PERCENT OVER THE SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS
OF WESTERN COLORADO AND EASTERN UTAH.

CLIMATE OUTLOOK:
---------------
THIS SPRING WEATHER MAY BE INFLUENCED BY A WEAK TO MODERATE LA NINA.
THERE IS A WEAK CORRELATION BETWEEN LA NINA AND WEATHER OVER
WESTERN  COLORADO AND EASTERN UTAH. FOR THE NEXT 8 TO 14 DAYS THERE
IS A TREND TOWARDS DRIER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS ACROSS THE
SOUTH...WITH EQUAL CHANGES OF NORMAL PRECIPITATION ELSEWHERE. BETTER
CHANCES THAT TEMPERATURES WILL BE BELOW NORMAL DURING THE NEXT FEW
WEEKS. THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER OUTLOOK FOR THE PERIOD FROM MID
FEBRUARY THROUGH APRIL INDICATES INCREASED PROBABILITY FOR BELOW
NORMAL PRECIPITATION AND ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ESPECIALLY OVER
SOUTHEASTERN UTAH AND SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO.

IT SHOULD BE EMPHASIZED THAT IT IS EARLY IN THE SNOW ACCUMULATION
SEASON AND CONDITIONS COULD CHANGE BEFORE THE RUNOFF BEGINS.

CHANGING HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS CAN HAVE A SIGNIFICANT
IMPACT ON WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS. ADDITIONAL PRODUCTS WILL BE ISSUED
AS CONDITIONS EVOLVE.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AT WEATHER.GOV/GJT.
FOR DETAILED PEAK FLOW FORECASTS VISIT
WWW.CBRFC.NOAA.GOV/PRODUCT/PEAK/PEAK.CGI

DATA FROM THE NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE...THE COLORADO
BASIN RIVER FORECAST CENTER...AND THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
WERE USED TO PRODUCE THIS PRODUCT.

$$

AS



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