SLCESGNM Jan, 2016
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FGUS65 KSTR 081627
TTAA00 KSLR DDHHMM
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
COLORADO BASIN RIVER FORECAST CENTER
SALT LAKE CITY UT
JAN 8, 2016
SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
The 2016 spring runoff flood potential is considered slightly higher
than average. While it is too early in the season to make a very confident
assessment the fact that snowpack is currently above average combined
strong El Nino event suggests the potential is elevated over that of
a normal year.
As of early January snowpack in the San Juan Basin ranges from generally
between 100 and 130 percent of the 1981-2010 historical median, with a few
SNOTEL sites reporting values over 150 percent of median. Soil moisture
conditions entering the winter were below average in the eastern San
Jaun Basin but improve to near or slightly above average category
farther west toward the Animas Drainage.
Additionally a strong El Nino event is underway and expected to
continue through the 2015/2016 winter months. Impacts from El Nino
generally include increased chances for above average precipitation over
the southern tier of the U.S. The San Juan Basin is geographically
close to where the impacts occur giving it a higher possibility of
above average precipitation over the next few months.
April-July streamflow volume forecasts issued in early January
range from 100 to 110 percent of average.
Thefore, the flood potential is considered elevated over that of an
average year, however several runoff scenarios are still possible
given snow accumulation typically extends into April at highest
High flows are possible in any year given the right conditions such
as rapidly melting snow or heavy rain that occurs during the snow
Further assessment will be made regarding any snow melt flood threat as
the season progresses.
G. Smith/ CBRFC