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April 4, 2017 Arizona's Snowpack Melted Out

Arizona’s Snowpack Melted Out

Spring runoff predicted to remain about normal

PHOENIX, April 4, 2017 - The Arizona Basin Outlook Report released this week by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) shows the state snowpack to be all but melted out. The federal agency monitors snow conditions in Arizona’s mountain watersheds each winter to estimate the amount of surface water that will be available for spring and summer uses.

“Even though our snowpack is mostly melted out, the soils are still saturated, and we are predicting close to normal runoff through the remainder of the forecast period (April-May),” said Dino DeSimone, state water supply specialist with the NRCS in Phoenix, Arizona. “Our best guess is that the Salt-Verde Reservoir System will top out at close to 80% of capacity.  Not bad for what started out as a La Niña Winter!”

Among the findings in the Basin Outlook Report, the snowpack in the Salt River Basin was measured at 21 percent of average; the Verde River Basin at 53 percent; the San Francisco-Upper Gila Basin at 0 percent; and the Little Colorado River Basin at 16 percent of average snowpack.

“Overall, this was a wetter than average winter.” DeSimone continued.  “This means that our surface water supplies are in much better shape than one year ago.  Plus on the landscape we are now experiencing a spectacular wildflower season!”

NRCS hydrologist runoff predictions are conducted bi-monthly based on the current snowpack accumulations. As the season progresses, forecasts become more accurate, primarily because a greater portion of the future weather conditions become known.

The NRCS Arizona Basin Outlook Report and other related reports are available at http://www.az.nrcs.usda.gov/snow. For more information, contact NRCS water supply specialist, Dino DeSimone, at 602-280-8786, or dino.desimone@az.usda.gov.

 

Basin Outlook Reports

New Release: Arizona's Snowpack Melted Out (pdf)

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