Lake Powell Inflow Levels: Dim Outlook

March 7, 2018



The monthly forecast for the Colorado Basin precipitation and water levels was released today. In an online conference, forecasters from the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (CBRFC), part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that as of right now, the projections for Lake Powell’s levels remain the same as last month at 47% of average. This is due to the lack of rain and snowfall in key areas that feed Lake Powell such as the Green and the Colorado River Basins.


Lake Powell is also fed by the San Juan, Gunnison, and other basins. Typically, the average combined contribution from the San Juan, Gunnison, and other smaller basins equal around 39.6%. The March forecast shows a decrease in unregulated inflow from these sources by approximately 12.5%, and an increase in unregulated inflow from the Green and Colorado River Basins by roughly the same amount.


There are a handful of storm systems projected to move through the area over the next few weeks that the CBRFC is hoping will bring much needed precipitation to the area, but they are not optimistic that these systems will bring enough to bring all levels to their averages. Mid-March through April tend to be the most sporadic regarding precipitation and the months that are the most critical for bringing in the last bit of precipitation prior to the transition from Spring to Summer.


Let’s hope these storm systems bring enough precipitation in either snowfall or rain to bring water levels close to where they should be.


We will update you next month when the new forecasts are released.

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