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Wyoming NOAA Hydrologist Jim Fahey shared the following breakdown about spring runoff flood potential.

He also shared a video (posted below the breakdown) about important hydrological and meteorological parameters that will affect the flood potential during the upcoming spring runoff.

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Quick Synopsis:

  • Late February snowpack and/or SWEs were above average (105 to 115% of median) across almost all major basins in Wyoming.  The highest SWEs were over the Big Horn Mountains and the Sierra Madre Mountains (southern Wyoming).
  • Above average snow depths across western Wyoming.
  • Above average soil moisture percentages across basins in northeastern Wyoming and potions of the Wind River Basin; below average soil moisture percentages across southern Wyoming.
  • Widespread pine bark beetle damage (2010-2018) across the Upper North Platte, Little Snake, Laramie, and Wind River Basins.
  • No significant precipitation trends during the spring runoff season (May – July).  Above average temperatures are expected across central to western Wyoming during the runoff season.

Highlights:

Low to Moderate potential for snowmelt runoff flooding is forecasted along the portions of the Laramie and the Salt River Basins (far western Wyoming)…

…All other headwater basins across Wyoming can expect a generally Low potential for flooding due to springtime snowmelt runoff…

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The next outlook will be issued by late March.

This outlook is based on various diverse hydrological factors such as snow water equivalents (SWEs) in the mountain snowpack, basin morphology (i.e. how basins respond to snowmelt runoff),  antecedent soil moisture, biological/physical factors (bark beetle kill/spruce blight///fire burn scars), low elevation snow depths, and likely temperature and precipitation trends during late spring/early summer.

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Other hydrological information for Wyoming can be found at the NOAA hydrology website.

Monthly Wyoming Hydrologic Summary and Graphics (updated monthly around the 15th of every month).

Wyoming Drought Information Page (updated at least once a month).

Wyoming Graphical Water Supply Outlook (updated by the 10th of every month—January-June)

Wyoming Average Precipitation by Basis (updated monthly).

Wyoming Spring Snowmelt Runoff Flood Potential Graphic (updated around the 25th of the month—February-May).

Current and Forecast Wyoming Streamflows and/or River Stages:

 http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=RIW

http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=CYS

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wy/nwis/rt

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