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exbiologist's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2397
The wet cycle is over

Welcome back to droughty years.  We're at 19% of normal snowpack (not 19% below normal, but 81% below normal) here in Colorado.

Snowpack map:


Streamflow forecast map:


At least we likely didn't have much winterkill this past year.  Keep your eye on the fire maps from the National Interagency Fire Center:



Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 924
Not good.  :(

Not good.  :-(

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
Although I enjoyed the lack

Although I enjoyed the lack of a real winter I have been fearing for months what this summer will look like.

I haven't even noticed a runoff in the river this year and I drive by it every day.

Joined: 02/07/2012
Posts: 10
There Goes some good wallows

Thanks for posting the info I saw the numbers as well.. The Arkansas River is still running clear and should be chocolate milk color this time of year.

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374

I'm worrying too.  Although currently along the front range water levels in the local ponds, lakes, and streams don't seem to bee all that low.  We did have a very dry and unusually warm springs this year.  Also the vegitation leafed up and greened up fully about a month earlier that normal years.  Last time things greened up early was back in '05, bit that was a wetter/cooler spring as I recall, then I remember the leaves changed colors and peaked by mid September that year as I recall and most the leaves were fallen by first week of October, about 3 weeks early than normal.

I just hope this doesn't turn out to be like the summer of '02.  All I remember from that summer was excessive high heat, the smell of smoke all summer from the western forests burning, and no moisture to speak of. Took about another year and a half to begin recovery from that one. Wasn't until the cool wet spring/summer of '04 that we fully recovered and water levels were at a high again. In recent years I recall summers of '99, '04, and '09 as being some of the wettest and coolest summers, almost daily rainfall, often heavy, and cooler highs most days usually under 89 deg F.

Location: Montana
Joined: 06/08/2005
Posts: 86

The farmer's almanac is predicting a very dry, hot summer across Colorado and the northern plains. This past winter they were right on with below average temp. and below normal precipatation. If a fire got out along the I-70 corridor it could wipe northern Colorado and into the Medicine Bow mountains of WY, if the wind was right.

WishIWasHunting's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Brighton, CO
Joined: 01/31/2011
Posts: 700
The dry weather has me plenty

The dry weather has me plenty worried.  The dry land wheat is already heading out, and that is way ahead of schedule.  All we can do is hope for rain.

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4421
It has always surprised me

It has always surprised me that Colorado didn't build a lot more reservoirs back when they could do it without all the government hassles to store more water.  But then the state has always been able to depend on the snow pack and river flows to satisfy their need for water.  Fast forward to the present day and now they are wishing that they had more water for the front range and are trying to figure out ways to take more of the water from the western slope than they have already.  Even the project to take water out of Flaming Gorge and pipe it to Denver is still floating around out there.  I even remember one of the state congressmen suggesting to place a dam on the Colorado/Utah border on the Colorado River.  He then wanted to pump it back up over the divide so that "Colorado" could use all of its allotted water from the river. 

I do figure that I do my share for water conservation by drinking beer that is bottled on the front range and flushing my toilet to let it run into the Colorado. 

cantgetdrawn's picture
Joined: 10/07/2011
Posts: 129
Critter, is coors the only

Critter, is coors the only beer bottled on the front range?


Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4421
Coors and Budweiser and a

Coors and Budweiser and a host of micro brews.   

Joined: 03/29/2012
Posts: 9
I like that water

I like that water conservation plan a lot, but does that mean I shouldn't drink the Colorado beer in mn? Since I wouldn't be putting it back? Hope not, then I'd be limiting my diet, I like a good variety. Big smile

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