FLOOD POTENTIAL IN THE EASTERN GREAT BASIN
The following are generalized discussions of the flood potential due to snowmelt in the Eastern Great Basin drainage as of March 1, 1998. 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.
UTAH:A higher than usual snowmelt flood potential for this time of year exists in the Farmington Creek drainage of the Wasatch Front, in the Vernon Creek drainage of western Utah, and for smaller streams draining the Wasatch Mountains southeast of Fillmore in the Sevier River Basin. The amount of water currently being held in the snowpack ranges from 130 to 180 percent of average in these areas. Although peak flow forecast procedures do not exist for specific sites in these areas, high flows are possible with the onset of the spring snowmelt.
Elsewhere in Utah the potential for flooding due solely to snowmelt is not high. Peak flow forecast procedures do not indicate any streams will reach or exceed flood levels.
It is still early in the season and the focus and seriousness of any snowmelt related flood threat may change significantly over the next few weeks due to mountain snow accumulation and spring temperatures. At this point many runoff scenarios are still possible.
IDAHO:The potential for snowmelt flooding in the Great Basin of Idaho is not high at this time. Currently the snowpack in this area is highly variable, ranging from near 75 percent to near 120 percent of average. Flood related problems due solely to snowmelt are not anticipated at this time.