Snowpack above median

Snowy Range and Sierra Madre ranges exceeding 100% in some areas

In the lowlands of the Platte Valley, it may seem like winter has been gentle on us in regards to the amount of snow received this winter. As April speeds by, it may even seem like we could be looking at a dry summer.

Data from the Wyoming State Climate Office at the University of Wyoming, however, shows otherwise. According to Director Tony Bergantino, snowpack at National Resources Conservation Services (NCRS) sites in the Snowy Range and Sierra Madre ranges varies from over 80% to 110% of median. Additionally, runoff will be looking close to or above median for the two rivers in the Platte Valley.

“For runoff, they have two prediction sites. One at the North Platte River at Northgate and one at Encampment River at Encampment,” said Bergantino. “The 50% chance of exceedance—which is to say there is a 50/50 chance that value of flow will be above this—puts the April through July volume of water right about the median.”

Bergantino further clarified the Platte River runoff is looking at about 94% of median.

“For the Encampment River point, that 50% point is at 123% of median, so flows would be expected to be above normal there,” said Bergantino.

Bergantino added the timing of the runoff can have a lot to do with how the snowpack melts and any rainfall which would cause it to come off much quicker.


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