In praise of the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center

I’m a fan of NOAA’s Colorado Basin River Forecast Center. Here’s an example of why.

In working on my book, I’ve been spending a lot of time tracking the hydrology of the Colorado River Basin – how much precipitation falls, and where, and when. The CBRFC has great data and great tools to help. Last week I was puzzling over the Green River. One of the most useful CBRFC tools for watching a snow season play out is their “snow groups“, which collect all the real time snow measurement gauges in a watershed into a single graph. I wrote the Center asking which snow group was best for monitoring the Green River as a whole. Turns out that, as of last week, they didn’t have none that really captured the Green as a whole.

But since I asked, they made a new one.

The bad news is that, as of today, the Green watershed is at 60 percent of average:

Green River watershed

Green River watershed, Jan. 9, 2012