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Old 05-09-2011, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN
5,309 posts, read 3,830,426 times
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Farmer Jim - have you gotten your garden planted? Crazy weather here also this year - I'd like to send some of our rain your way. Are you missing Ridgway? (Almost added an e - ridgeway - but I knew Jazz would get me)

 
Old 05-09-2011, 02:12 PM
 
17,328 posts, read 24,408,950 times
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According to this site, snowpack levels are ABOVE average (http://www.timescall.com/news_story.asp?ID=26771 - broken link) in 7 of 9 areas, with 4 of those areas in excess of 150% of average levels.

Here's a far more specific table (http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/reports/UpdateReport.html;jsessionid=1B9A838E17D333EB82FF9 F2171071CED?report=Colorado - broken link) of data.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
5,227 posts, read 4,496,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbria View Post
Farmer Jim - have you gotten your garden planted? Crazy weather here also this year - I'd like to send some of our rain your way. Are you missing Ridgway? (Almost added an e - ridgeway - but I knew Jazz would get me)
Not yet, going to wait another week. A bit of a cold front the next few days and nights will be in the 30's. Yes I do miss Ridgway, just doubt I'll miss it much next winter though.
 
Old 05-09-2011, 08:16 PM
 
8,124 posts, read 16,029,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
According to this site, snowpack levels are ABOVE average (http://www.timescall.com/news_story.asp?ID=26771 - broken link) in 7 of 9 areas, with 4 of those areas in excess of 150% of average levels.

Here's a far more specific table (http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/reports/UpdateReport.html;jsessionid=1B9A838E17D333EB82FF9 F2171071CED?report=Colorado - broken link) of data.

As I said in my post, the southern half of the state is below average. The Rio Grande River drainage is in especially poor shape, with indications that even many senior surface water right holders in the San Luis Valley may not get anything close to a full allocation of irrigation water this summer. It also should be noted that two of the major drainages in central Colorado--the Gunnison and Arkansas are above average overall, but some of the southern parts of those drainages are not in great shape, either. (It should be noted that the SNOTEL data that is missing from the Gunnison River drainage are most of the snowpack readings from the southern part of the drainage, which even casual observation will show to be quite dry.) The ominous part for the southern half of Colorado is that late May and all of June are quite dry in a normal year, so--if the weather pattern follows a normal path this year--those areas may be critically dry by July.

The northern half of the state, west of the Continental Divide in particular, are above average in snowpack and will likely see some flooding problems this year. Unlike southern Colorado, May and June in northern Colorado tend to be fairly wet in a normal year, so that could exacerbate flooding problems there--especially if the weather turns warm quickly.

This is one of those years that demonstrates that, while Colorado is one state as far as its borders are concerned, geographically there are significant differences that cause things like climatic variation to behave quite differently from one part of the state to another.

And, as usual, the news media centers on what is happening in the immediate environs of the metro blobs, so whatever is going on there they write up as if it applies to the whole state, whether that assumption is true or not.
 
Old 05-09-2011, 08:36 PM
 
9,714 posts, read 12,345,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
According to this site, snowpack levels are ABOVE average (http://www.timescall.com/news_story.asp?ID=26771 - broken link) in 7 of 9 areas, with 4 of those areas in excess of 150% of average levels.

Here's a far more specific table (http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/reports/UpdateReport.html;jsessionid=1B9A838E17D333EB82FF9 F2171071CED?report=Colorado - broken link) of data.
I think Vail set an all time record of 524 inches at the top.
 
Old 05-09-2011, 09:58 PM
 
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Upper Rio Grande basin is at 98% of avg total precip YTD, and the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River Basins are at 91% for YTD precip. I'm sure there's always more to the story, but I'm not going to slit a wrist over those totals, and storms are forecast for this week as we speak.
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:39 AM
 
9,714 posts, read 12,345,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Upper Rio Grande basin is at 98% of avg total precip YTD, and the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River Basins are at 91% for YTD precip. I'm sure there's always more to the story, but I'm not going to slit a wrist over those totals, and storms are forecast for this week as we speak.
Exactly, maybe things are a tiny bit down here and there but overall the state is up big time and water shouldn't be an issue this year.
 
Old 05-10-2011, 09:38 AM
 
8,124 posts, read 16,029,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Exactly, maybe things are a tiny bit down here and there but overall the state is up big time and water shouldn't be an issue this year.
You have to look at snowpack levels, not precipitation levels. There the numbers are much more disturbing in the southern half of the state. Unlike most of the posters on this forum, I talk to people who actually manage and use those water resources. They describe the situation in the Rio Grande River drainage, in particular, as "bleak" for 2011. Not my word. The Animas and San Juan drainages are not in great shape, but less critical than the Rio Grande. There, a lot will depend on how quickly the snowpack melts--if it goes fast, there could be water shortage problems later in the summer.

Most of the Gunnison drainage is in pretty good shape, though, as I noted earlier, some of the southern tributaries will likely come up pretty short. From the Colorado River drainage north on the Western Slope, there is quite a lot of snowpack, so flooding will likely be a concern there through June--especially if we get a sudden warmup. It was quite warm over the weekend, but has cooled down some now, so that may lower the rivers a little bit, but, when it warms up again . . .

As usual, don't expect the media to get these stories right. They are as clueless as most of the general public when it comes to understanding water issues in this state. As, apparently, are many of the posters on this forum . . .
 
Old 05-11-2011, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
5,227 posts, read 4,496,073 times
Reputation: 8051
I've had conversations here about irrigation, "ah heck there's plenty of water" I am told. Conservation? What's that? Everyone is using more than they need and the ditch riders look the other way. Wow. Anyway, .15 inches of rain last night, a good steady rain this morning, snowing in the San Juans and on Grand Mesa.

Colorado water:

Colorado Division of Water Resources

Colorado Snow Survey Program | Colorado NRCS

Colorado Water Conservation Board
 
Old 05-11-2011, 09:11 AM
 
13,186 posts, read 12,273,762 times
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And just a little south of where Jim9251 is at 11 News Grand Junction reported a mix of rain and snow south of Montrose around 7 a.m. this morning. Springtime on the western slope!
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