Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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WATER SUPPLY OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PUEBLO CO
1230 PM MDT TUE MAR 8 2016

...WATER SUPPLY OUTLOOK FOR SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST COLORADO AS
OF APRIL 1 2016...

MARCH WAS A REMARKABLY DRY MONTH IN SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST
COLORADO. THIS WAS SOMEWHAT UNEXPECTED WITH THE VERY STRONG BUT
WEAKENING EL NINO THAT IS CURRENTLY DOMINATING WEATHER PATTERNS
ACROSS THE SOUTHWESTERN UNITED STATES. DUE TO THE DRY MARCH THE
SNOWPACK HAS DIMINISHED RELATIVE TO NORMAL THROUGHOUT THE
MOUNTAINS OF THE ARKANSAS AND RIO GRANDE BASINS. THE CONVENTIONAL
EL NINO PATTERN INCLUDES A WET PERIOD IN LATE WINTER OR EARLY
SPRING. THIS HAS NOT BEEN OBSERVED THIS YEAR. IF THE TRADITIONAL
WET SPRING PATTERN BEGINS TO ESTABLISH ITSELF A WET SPRING IS STILL
POSSIBLE. THIS MIGHT BRING ENOUGH PRECIPITATION TO ENHANCE THE
BELOW NORMAL SNOWPACK. HOWEVER THE CURRENT EL NINO HAS NOT BEEN AS
RELIABLE A SIGNAL AS EXPECTED AND UNCERTAINTY WITH REGARD TO
SNOWPACK ACCUMULATION IS HIGH. THE NUMBERS BELOW ARE BASED UPON THE
CURRENT SNOWPACK AND ANTICIPATE A RELATIVELY NORMAL CLIMATIC REGIME
FOR THE SPRING.

THE SNOWPACK IN THE RIO GRANDE AND ARKANSAS BASINS IS BELOW
THE 30 YEAR MEDIAN VALUE IN THE UPPER ARKANSAS BASIN AND IS WELL
BELOW THE MEDIAN IN THE UPPER RIO GRANDE BASIN. THE EL NINO IS
ALREADY WEAKENING AND MOST OUTLOOKS CALL FOR THAT TREND TO CONTINUE
INTO SUMMER. THIS COULD BRING INCREASED MOISTURE ACROSS SOUTHERN
COLORADO.

AS OF APRIL 1...THE 2016 SNOWPACK WAS WELL BELOW THE 30 YEAR MEDIAN
ACROSS THE RIO GRANDE BASIN OF SOUTH CENTRAL COLORADO AND THE
ARKANSAS BASIN OF SOUTHEAST COLORADO.

SPECIFICALLY...THE RIO GRANDE SNOWPACK MEASURED 79 PERCENT OF MEDIAN
OVERALL WHICH WAS DOWN FROM 99 PERCENT OF MEDIAN A MONTH EARLIER AND
HIGHER THAN THE 59 PERCENT OF MEDIAN LAST YEAR AT THE SAME TIME.
THE ARKANSAS BASIN SNOWPACK MEASURED 92 PERCENT OF MEDIAN OVERALL...
THIS WAS DOWN SLIGHTLY FROM THE 98 PERCENT OF MEDIAN LAST MONTH AND
IS HIGHER THAN THE 86 PERCENT OF MEDIAN LAST YEAR AT THE SAME TIME.

AT THE END OF MARCH...OVERALL RESERVOIR STORAGE WAS NEAR AVERAGE
ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL COLORADO AND ABOVE AVERAGE ACROSS SOUTHEAST
COLORADO.  STORAGE IN THE RIO GRANDE BASIN WAS AT 94 PERCENT OF
AVERAGE OVERALL AND 121 PERCENT OF LAST YEAR`S VOLUME AT THE
SAME TIME.  IN THE ARKANSAS BASIN...STORAGE ON THE UPPER ARKANSAS
RIVER ABOVE PUEBLO DAM WAS AT 133 PERCENT OF AVERAGE OVERALL...WHICH
WAS 100 PERCENT OF THE STORAGE AT THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR...ON THE
LOWER ARKANSAS RIVER BELOW PUEBLO DAM RESERVOIR STORAGE IS AT 157
PERCENT OF AVERAGE AND 271 PERCENT OF LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME.

FOR THE RIO GRANDE BASIN...STREAMFLOW VOLUMES FOR THE UPCOMING
RUNOFF SEASON ARE GENERALLY FORECAST TO BE NEAR OR SLIGHTLY BELOW
AVERAGE.FOLLOWING ARE THE LATEST AVAILABLE STREAMFLOW FORECASTS FOR
SELECTED LOCATIONS IN THE RIO GRANDE BASIN ASSUMING NORMAL
PRECIPITATION DURING THE REMAINDER OF THE SNOW SEASON:

 RIO GRANDE RIVER
  THIRTY MILE BRIDGE             85            APR-SEP
  WAGON WHEEL GAP                90            APR-SEP
  NEAR DEL NORTE                 84            APR-SEP
SOUTH FORK RIO GRANDE RIVER
  SOUTH FORK                     96            APR-SEP
SAGUACHE CREEK
  NEAR SAGUACHE                  97            APR-SEP
ALAMOSA CREEK
  TERRACE RESERVOIR INFLOW       81            APR-SEP
LA JARA CREEK
  NEAR CAPULIN                   69            MAR-JUL

TRINCHERA CREEK
  ABOVE TURNERS RANCH            79            APR-SEP
CONEJOS RIVER
  PLATORO RESERVOIR INFLOW       81            APR-SEP
  NEAR MOGOTE                    77            APR-SEP
CULEBRA CREEK
  SAN LUIS                       75            APR-SEP
SAN ANTONIO RIVER
  ORTIZ                          54            APR-SEP
LOS PINOS
  ORTIZ                          66            APR-SEP

FOR THE ARKANSAS BASIN...STREAMFLOW VOLUMES FOR THE UPCOMING RUNOFF
SEASON ARE FORECAST TO BE NEAR TO SLIGHTLY BELOW AVERAGE ON THE
MAINSTEM OF THE ARKANSAS RIVER. FURTHER SOUTH IN THE PURGATOIRE
HUERFANO AND CUCHARAS RIVERS RUNOFF IS FORECAST TO BE WELL BELOW
NORMAL. FOLLOWING ARE THE LATEST AVAILABLE STREAMFLOW FORECASTS FOR
SELECTED LOCATIONS IN THE ARKANSAS BASIN ASSUMING NORMAL
PRECIPITATION DURING THE REMAINDER OF THE SNOW SEASON:

LOCATION                   % OF AVERAGE     RUNOFF PERIOD

ARKANSAS RIVER
  GRANITE                        87            APR-SEP
  SALIDA                         88            APR-SEP
  CANON CITY                     87            APR-SEP
  ABOVE PUEBLO                   88            APR-SEP
CHALK CREEK
  NEAR NATHROP                   85            APR-SEP
GRAPE CREEK
  NEAR WESTCLIFFE                79            APR-SEP
HUERFANO RIVER
  NEAR REDWING                   76            APR-SEP
CUCHARAS RIVER
  NEAR LA VETA                   67            APR-SEP
PURGATOIRE RIVER
  TRINIDAD                       68            APR-SEP

THESE FORECASTS REFLECT NATURAL FLOW ONLY.  ACTUAL OBSERVED FLOW
WILL LIKELY BE AFFECTED BY UPSTREAM WATER MANAGEMENT.

THE FORECASTS BELOW ARE FOR OBSERVED FLOW AT THE DESIGNATED
LOCATIONS. THESE FORECASTS ATTEMPT TO ACCOUNT FOR WATER MANAGEMENT
UPSTREAM THAT WILL AFFECT OBSERVED FLOW.

ARKANSAS RIVER
  LAS ANIMAS                     91            APR-SEP
PURGATOIRE RIVER
  LAS ANIMAS                     71            APR-SEP

THIS OUTLOOK IS BASED ON RECENT OBSERVATIONS OF SNOWPACK AND ASSUMES
NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SNOW SEASON.  IF THE
ACTUAL OBSERVED PRECIPITATION DEVIATES FROM NORMAL...THEN THE ACTUAL
OBSERVED RUNOFF WILL LIKELY BE DIFFERENT THAN THE FORECASTS IN THIS
OUTLOOK.  THIS IS THE FOURTH OUTLOOK FOR THE 2016 RUNOFF SEASON.

USERS OF THIS PRODUCT ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE IN PUEBLO FOR CONTINUED UPDATES ON THE WATER SUPPLY
SITUATION.  METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS COULD DEVELOP THAT WOULD HAVE
A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS. THE NEXT WATER
SUPPLY FORECASTS WILL BE ISSUED IN THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY.

FOR ADDITIONAL HYDROLOGIC PRODUCTS AVAILABLE ON THE WORLD WIDE
WEB...VISIT THE PUEBLO NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WEB SITE AT
WEATHER.GOV/PUB.

THIS MESSAGE IS THE RESULT OF COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND THE NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION
SERVICE.

AJA



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