January 2018 Early Season Outlook


January 10, 2018

By Mickey O’Hara, Water Resources Engineer, Colorado Water Trust

There’s no doubt about it - Water Year 2018 is off to a tough start, with statewide snowpack well below average as of January 8th. While it’s still early in the season, there are potentially serious implications lurking behind these early numbers if we see a weak finish to the winter. Even though it seems unlikely that we will see a recovery to average conditions before runoff begins in late March or early April, it’s not time to sound the alarm yet.

As we move through the remaining months of winter, we will certainly be watching conditions closely, because rivers may suffer from low-flows as a result of reduced snowpack levels. Shortages cause hardship not only on the environment, but also on the myriad industries that rely on a stable water (or snow) supply.

The Water Trust monitors a variety of reports and forecasts to keep our fingers on the pulse of our water future and to guide project implementation. Read the full report below for more information, including some of the reports and forecasts we watch.

Also, If you’d like to see more interactive (and up-to date) graphics on a regional scale, one of our favorite data sources is the Western Water Assessment’s Intermountain West Climate Dashboard. It's amazing!

Cheers to snow ...


January_2018_Early_Season_Outlook.pdf (view)