River Beat: Colorado River Forecasts Continue to Drop

Update: Tom Pagano points out in the comments, I think correctly, that I’m incorrectly interpreting the data because the most recent data points cover a shorter period of time. So take this with a grain of salt….


At the risk of overanalyzing a single short term data point, the weekly model runs from the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center this week are all down on the major rivers of the upper basin:

Best not to get too hung up on specific numbers. These are model guidance numbers, not a full-on vetted forecast. It’s the trend that matters, and it continues to be heading down.


  1. Another thing to consider is that the forecasts this time of year are for the amount left in the season. In comparison, the forecasts issued January 1 are for the flow April-July and so are forecasts issued Feb 1, Mar 1 and so on.

    So, the forecast issued April 21 is for flow April 22-July and the one issued April 28 is for April 29-July. To compare apples to apples, you’d have to add back in the actual (unregulated) flow that happened April 22-April 28. Unfortunately that last bit of info isn’t available.

    That said, I think these products are fantastic and putting raw model guidance on the web is a huge step forward. Seems like a lot’s happened in a year!

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