Snowpack in the Arkansas River Basin is below normal at 81 percent as of Thursday; however, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service National Water and Climate Center is still predicting near normal runoff for the upper Arkansas River.
Recent March snowstorms did not make much of a dent in the snowpack totals since the March 1 report of 83 percent of median at the end of February.
Storm activity across Colorado slowed down briefly during the first part of February, but cold and snowy conditions resumed around mid-month and continued through the end of February for much of the state.
This helped maintain above-median snowpack for every major basin in the state, except for the Arkansas River Basin, which received less precipitation than other parts of the state.
Precipitation for February was 88 percent of median, which brought water-year-to-date precipitation to 91 percent of median.
Reservoir storage in the basin at the end of February was 91 percent of median compared to 78 percent last year.
Streamflow forecasts east of the Continental Divide are generally for close to normal seasonal runoff volumes, however.
In the Arkansas River Basin the current streamflow forecasts for the basin range from 58 percent of median at Grape Creek near Westcliffe to 104 percent of median at Chalk Creek near Nathrop.
Across the state, drought conditions persist; however, the La Niña conditions that have prevailed for the last two years have started to weaken and are forecasted to end in the coming months.
The National Drought Mitigation Center at University of Nebraska-Lincoln currently shows most of Chaffee County as neutral or no drought conditions, with abnormally dry conditions for the extreme eastern section of the county.
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