In the upper Rio Grande Basin, the snowpack as at 53% of average overall, down from 83% of average last month at this time, and tracking well behind last year’s 76% of average. In the Arkansas Basin, the snowpack was at 56% of average overall, down from 86% of average last month at this time and tracking well behind last year’s 103% of average.
Water year precipitation is running below average across both basins. As of April 1, the upper Rio Grande Basin reported 91% of average precipitation, down from 103% of average last month, but higher than 83% of average from a year ago. The Arkansas Basin reported 79% of average precipitation, down from 89% of average a month ago, and lower than 93% of average a year ago.
Overall reservoir storage is running near or below average across southern Colorado. Storage in the upper Rio Grande Basin at the end of March was at 73% of overall average, up slightly from 69% of average last month, but down from 82% of average last year at this time. In the Arkansas Basin, storage was at 86% of average overall, down from 98% of average last month at this time and lower than 90% of average a year ago.
For the Arkansas Basin, streamflow volumes for the upcoming runoff season are predicted to be below average. The following are streamflow forecasts for selected locations for the Basin, assuming normal precipitation during the next few months.
Per Cent of Average Runoff Period
Granite 45 Apr-Sept
Salida 50 Same
Canon City 69 Same
Above Pueblo 51 Same
Chalk Creek Near Nathrop 44 Same
Grape Creek/Westcliff 41 Same
Huerfano River/Redwing 63 Same
Cucharas River/La Veta 62 Same
Purgatoire River/Trinidad 61 Same
These forecasts reflect natural flow only. Actual observed flow will likely be affected by upstream water management. This outlook is based on recent observations of snowpack and assumes normal precipitation for the remainder of the snow season. An updated outlook will be issued in early May.
Filed under: Agriculture, Business, County, Economy, Energy, News, Recreation, Tourism, Utilities, Weather · Tags: Arkansas Basin, National Weather Service, Reservoir Storage, Rio Grande Basin, Snowpack Runoff