Wyoming water supply outlook looking good
Most basins in west above average
February 6, 2006
Wyoming’s water supply outlook continues to be above average, at least for the western side of Wyoming. As of the January 2006 report by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Upper Green River Basin was +51% of average for precipitation. The Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) across Wyoming is above the average for this time of year and stream flow yields are expected to be at average across the state.
Reservoirs on the Green River were at 103% above average as of January. Big Sandy Reservoir was at 64% of capacity; Flaming Gorge was 82%; and Fontenelle was 55%. Jackson Lake, which flows into the Snake River drainage, was at 45% of average as of January.
As of the date of this article (Feb. 6), Upper Green River Basin SNOTELS were reporting encouraging snow depths.
Blind Bull Summit (Wyoming Range) 83.2 inches
Gunsight Pass (Northern Wind River Range) 129.2 inches
Big Sandy Opening (Southern Wind River Range) 51.1 inches
Snider Basin (Middle Wyoming Range) 59 inches
Snowpack Summary (February 2006) % of average:
Snake River above Jackson Lake 128%
Hoback River 121%
Greys River 128%
Salt River 124%
New Fork River 112%
Big Sandy/Eden Valley 115%
Green River above Warren Bridge 105%
Upper Green (west side) 123%
Green River above Fontenelle 114%
Wind River above Dubois 85%
East side of state not doing as well
The picture isn’t quite as bright for northeast Wyoming, where reservoirs on the North Platte River were reporting well below normal in January (63%), according to the January 2006 Wyoming Basin Outlook Report. Snow Water Equivalent for watersheds in the northeast side of the state were at 88% of average mid-January. North-central Wyoming, on the eastern side of the Continental Divide, basins were between 85-88% of average for SWE.
In late January, the Casper Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a press release entitled, "Fire Awareness This Winter". They reported fire danger was high in portions of northeastern Wyoming where the snow cover has melted. It's not often we get a press release about high fire danger in late January in Wyoming! The Casper, Buffalo and Newcastle BLM Field offices urged public land users to be careful with fire while on public lands this winter. "Even with the cooler temperatures and added moisture, caution is still needed when recreating on public lands. While no special fire restrictions currently exist on BLM managed lands within Wyoming, everyone needs to be extra careful with fire."
Natural Resources Conservation Service www.nrcs.usda.gov
Wyoming SNOTEL Site Map