FLOOD POTENTIAL IN THE UPPER 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, 2000. 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.

COLORADO: The potential for flooding due to snowmelt in western Colorado is not high at this time. The snowpack is below to much below average in most areas of the Gunnison, Dolores, and San Juan River Basins. Relatively speaking, the greater potential for flooding exists in the headwaters of the Yampa and Upper Colorado River Basins where snow at some locations is above average. Overall, though, the snowpack is near average in these basins. No forecast points are expected to exceed flood stage due solely to snowmelt.

WYOMING: The snowmelt flood potential for streams in southwest Wyoming is not high at this time. However some minor ice jam flooding is a possibility during the month of March, mainly on the Blacks Fork River. The March 1 snowpack varies from near to below normal. As of March 1 no forecast points are expected to exceed flood stage due solely to snowmelt.

UTAH: Currently, the snowmelt flood potential for the Utah portion of the basin is not high, with the snowpack varying from near normal to much below normal. As of March 1, no forecast points are expected to exceed flood stage due solely to snowmelt.

NEW MEXICO: The snowmelt flood potential over the New Mexico portion of the basin is low at this time. Snowpack for locations upstream of the Four Corners area is much below average. Volume forecasts for southwest Colorado streams draining into New Mexico are much below average. No forecast points are projected to exceed flood stage due solely to snowmelt during the spring and summer season of 2000.