Mar 18, 2013
Dry spring and summer forecast for Western states

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service National Water and Climate Center hydrologists predict dry conditions to continue, resulting in reduced water supply for much of the West through the spring and summer.

What fell in the West didn’t really amount to much,” hydrologist Tom Perkins said. “New Mexico, Utah and Colorado are especially vulnerable, because their reservoirs are at low levels due to sustained drought conditions.”

There are exceptions to the dry forecasts. As of March 1, spring and summer streamflow forecasts are calling for near normal levels across Oregon, Washington, Idaho and western Montana.

Although some are at normal levels now, March 1 snowmelt runoff forecasts trends indicated worsening conditions compared to the Feb. 1 report. Forecasts decreased 5 to 10 percent in Washington and Oregon; 10 to 20 percent in Montana, Idaho and Utah; 10 to 15 percent in Colorado. Forecasts increased 5 to 10 percent in north-central New Mexico, but not enough to make up the shortfall.

To view March’s snow survey water supply forecast map go here.

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