Area wide snowpacks improve in February and March
As of March 1, area wide snowpacks’ water equivalents were improving compared to last month’s readings.
The Snake River Drainage Basin’s snowpacks’ water equivalents, as a whole, for this time of the year were 103% of median. Last year it was 111% of median.
Snowpacks in the Greys River Drainage Basin ranged from a high at the Spring Creek Divide Snotel Site at 107% of median to a low at the Blind Bull summit Snotel Site at 103% of median.
The Salt River Drainage Basin ranged from a high at Cottonwood Creek Snotel Site at 115% of median to a low at the CCC Camp manual snow course at 103% of normal.
As of Feb. 1, the river flow forecast for Greys River was 76% of average with the Salt River 64% of normal.
River flow predictions should increase once March 1 forecasts are available due to the increase in precipitation this past month.
Palisades Reservoir storage, as of Feb. 1, was 112% of normal.
The Bear River Drainage Basin’s snowpacks’ water equivalents, as a whole March 1, were 85% of median for this time of the year. Last year’s median was 107% of median. Even with the increased precipitation last month.
The snowpacks in the Cokeville area ranged from a high at the Salt River Snotel Site at 100% of median to a low at the Big Park manual snow course at 89% of median.
The head of the Bear River snowpacks have improved, but still remain low with a high at Bug Lake Snotel Site at 91% of median to a low at the Monte Cristo Snotel Site at 80% of median.
As of Feb. 1, the river flow forecast for the Smiths Fork River northeast of Cokeville, was 65% of average, while the Bear River was predicted to only flow 30% of normal if current precipitation trends remained low.
Luckily, the month of February had good precipitation events, which should improve last month’s river flow forecasts.
As of February 1, Woodruff Narrows Reservoir’s storage was 25,100-acre feet, about 87% of average.
The Lower Green River Drainage Basin’s snowpacks’ water equivalents, as a whole, had improved to 93% of median, but still lower than 117% of median at this time last year.
Snowpacks ranged from a high at the Hams Fork Snotel Site at 110% of median to a low at the Indian Creek Snotel Site at 88% of median.
The Hams Fork River, as of Feb. 1, was predicted to flow 59% of average at the Hams Fork Creek USGS gauging station.
Viva Naughton Reservoir storage was about 98% of average for this time of the year.
The month of February had good precipitation events, which helped out the high elevation snowpacks.
If the month of March continues with high moisture events, river flow predictions should improve.
It is important to remember that snow fall usually has higher moisture densities come spring, which causes more avalanche problems on a drier, sugary snowpack base.
Be careful and take the proper safety equipment. Avoid climbing steep hills and stay on level ground until the snowpack firms up.
Individuals wanting more snowpack/water forecast information may contact the Lincoln Conservation District (LCD) Field Office at (307) 279-3256 or the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office in Cokeville at (307) 279-3441.