River Beat: Updated Forecast

Forecast flow on the Colorado River as a whole and major tributaries is down. I was otherwise occupied yesterday and missed the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center’s monthly briefing, but Kevin Werner has posted his slides.

January Precip

Some high points:

  • January, as you can see from the accompanying image, was remarkably dry across the basin, a big switch from a wet December
  • The February-March-April forecast, driven by La Niña, calls for odds of drier than average conditions over much of the basin, especially the south (just what we’ve been seeing to date)
  • For New Mexico, a drop in the forecast flow on the San Juan
  • A drop in the forecast Lake Powell inflow, but still above average (USBR (pdf) is saying 105 percent for the water year, we’re still waiting on this month’s update on the effect that’ll have on Mead and Powell levels for the year)