South Platte Basin snowpack at 315 percent of average
FRISCO — Rivers in northern Colorado will continue to flow at high levels for several more weeks, water watchers said last week, releasing the results of the June 1 snowpack survey. While runoff season is well under way, the remaining snowpack in the Colorado River Basin is still 223 percent of median and 80 percent higher than last year’s snowpack on June 1.
The most snow lingers in the South Platte Basin, where the snowpack is at 311 percet of median. All basins north of the Gunnison are well above average, but the state’s southern basins have nearly melted out, continuing a run of drought conditions and heightening concerns about this summer’s fire season. The Rio Grande Basin and the San Juan, Animas, Dolores and San Miguel basins are at 59 and 39 percent of median, respectively.
Despite low snowpack levels in southern Colorado, the statewide snowpack is 215 percent of last year’s for this time of year and 197 percent of median.
If the current wet weather patterns persist into June, the chances for continued high water levels in many streams will remain high, with 20 to 40 percent of the snowpack remaining at high elevations.
Precipitation has been above average for much of the past year across many parts of the high country, where most of the state’s water originates. As a result, reservoir storage is in great shape going into summer, at 95 percent of normal and 62 percent of capacity.
The northern basins will have every opportunity this spring and summer to add significantly to their reservoir storage, according to the monthly release from the Natural Resources Conservation Service snow survey program.
For more information about Colorado’s snowpack or supporting water supply related information, please go to the Colorado Snow Survey website at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/co/snow/