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NOAA Releases Wyoming Water Supply Outlook

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released the latest numbers in their Wyoming Water supply outlook, showing the amount of precipitation the state has had compared to average, and the forecast for water supply down the road.

With a few exceptions the state is experiencing greater-than-average precipitation. Only the Powder, Tongue, and Upper Yellowstone Drainages are forecasted to have below to near normal streamflow volumes during the upcoming snowmelt season.

NOAA periodically updates these numbers, and expects the next report and forecast to come out within the first two weeks of March.

Highlights:

  • Wyoming January 2017 precipitation was 170% to 180% of average.
  • Current water year precipitation is averaging 130% to 140% of normal across Wyoming.
  • Mountain snowpack across Wyoming is 115% to 125% of median.
  • Above normal snowmelt streamflow volumes are expected across most major basins in Wyoming.
  • Wyoming reservoir storages are 115% to 125% percent of average for February.

Synopsis:

January precipitation totals across Wyoming were 170% to 180% of average. Precipitation numbers varied between 270% of normal over the Upper Bear River Drainage (southwest Wyoming) to near 100% of normal over the Powder River Basin (northeast Wyoming). Current water year (October 2016 – January 2017) precipitation across Wyoming is 130% to 140% of average.

Mountain snowpack across Wyoming was 115% to 125% of median by early February. Snowpack “water” numbers and/or SWEs were the highest across basins in central through southwestern Wyoming—varying between 145% to 185% of median. SWEs across basins in northeastern Wyoming were 100 to 110 percent of median.

Above normal (125% to 135%) snowmelt streamflow volumes are expected across almost all major basins across Wyoming. Above to well above average streamflow volumes are expected across the Wind, Shoshone, Upper North Platte, Upper Green, and Sweetwater Watersheds. The Powder, Tongue, and Upper Yellowstone Drainages are forecasted to have below to near normal streamflow volumes during the upcoming snowmelt season.

Reservoirs storages across Wyoming remained above average at 115% to 125% for February.

Courtesy of NOAA

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