Current Snowpack OK, But Will It Last
Coming into 2013 regional snow pack is about normal and above average in western Wyoming. Jim Fahey, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Riverton, says the western mountains are already over 100 percent of average.
“Highest amount we have in the state is in the Snake River Basin. As of now we’re 110 percent of normal.”
The south western corner of the state also hovers around 100 percent, while drainages out of the Big Horns are 70 to 80 percent of average. The driest areas are in the south east, though they’ve had some snowfall recently. “They started really low, but they’re still below 100 percent and, for instance, the Little Snake Basin about 90 percent of normal and the Upper North Platte about 80 percent.”
The main concern, Fahey says, is whether the state gets its normal spring precipitation. Many areas of the state get well over half of the years precipitation between April and June.
After banner rain fall in 2011, Fahey says, last year was one of the driest springs on record leaving reservoirs down as much as 25 to 30 percent of capacity.