Odds favor wet late winter, spring across Colorado River Basin

With the current snowpack in the Colorado Basin watersheds above Lake Powell at 93 percent of average (source: CBRFC), we’re entering the critical time for the 2015-16 water year on the Colorado River.

Today’s forecast from the federal government’s Climate Prediction Center has the odds tipped toward a wet later winter and spring, but not by a lot:

Feb-Apr forecast

Feb-Apr forecast

The usual explain-this-potentially-misleading-map boilerplate….

The CPC divides the historical record into three bins – the wettest third, the middle third, and the driest third. An “EC” (equal chances) forecast – the white bits – means there’s a one third chance of being in each of the three bins. The dark green (“A”) means there’s a 50 percent chance of being in the wet bin. The lightest green means between 33 and 40 percent chance of wet. So this is a relatively modest shift in the odds toward wet for the Colorado River Basin, not a forecast that it will be wet.