FLOOD POTENTIAL IN THE LOWER COLORADO RIVER BASIN

The following are generalized discussions of the flood potential due to snowmelt in the Upper Colorado River drainage as of March 1, 1997. Discussions are segregated by state. It is important to understand that the potential for flooding may increase dramatically if snowmelt accelerates rapidly due to above normal temperatures or if significant rain events occur.

ARIZONA: The potential for snowmelt flooding in Arizona is low at this time. Although snow water equivalent values were much above median as of March 1 and streamflow volumes for the period of December through February were much above median as well, flooding due to snow melt is not expected because of the extremely dry conditions preceding this water year. Runoff volumes for March through May are forecast to be above median on the Salt, Gila and Little Colorado rivers. No individual sites are forecast to exceed flood stage.

NEW MEXICO:. The potential for snow melt flooding on the upper Gila River and on the Little Colorado River drainage in New Mexico is also low at this time. The March through May runoff volumes are forecast to be above median with no individual sites forecast to exceed flood stage.

UTAH:. The potential for snow melt flooding along the Virgin and Santa Clara rivers is not high at this time. Snow water equivalent values were above average as of March 1. Runoff volumes for April through July are forecast to be much above average, but no individual sites are currently forecast to exceed flood stage.