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Projected snowmelt in Wyoming

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Projected snowmelt in Wyoming

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:17 pm

This website has graphs that not only show where the snowpack is today, but also projections on when it will melt. The graph below is of the west side of the Wind Rivers. If going to Yellowstone this year, it looks like a high probability of a late melt, as shown on the second graph.

https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/da ... reen18.gif

https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/da ... tone18.gif

I thought these were pretty interesting. I wish we had a simlar graphic presentation for the Sierra snowmelt.



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Re: Projected snowmelt in Wyoming vs CA

Postby Dwwd » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:13 pm

RE: your wish for CA snow melt probabilities.
Well it is not the same thing, you will have to roll up your own probability curves, but you can plot all the historical snow melt curves for the Sierras at this web link. http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snowapp/swcchart.action
Note the spread when the y-axis goes to zero, May through July, as a function of the total snow percentage. Historical data is here http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/prod ... _1_SWC.pdf.
Add windage as needed knowing most all snow sensors are about 10kft or less. And there are soft variables, like snow bowls, wind drifts, sun exposure, north or south latitude, early/late spring heat waves that modify the amount of snow in local topological zones like passes 11kft and greater.

Peak flow rate for major river basin probabilities are here.
https://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/awipsProducts/RNOHFSSPK.php

Test the snow melt probabilities against actual, HST images, specific snow sensor data (see sensor map at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecstation2/) or Google Earth historical images in the spring time.

Best of Luck on Spring Time Adventures! I cannot wait.
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Re: Projected snowmelt in Wyoming

Postby robertseeburger » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:28 am

I am a little surprised there is as much snow as this in Wyoming. I just spent a week in Utah and my friends from Colorado were lamenting the lack of snow and general dryness of the Rockies in Colorado..further south. I guess the. Winds have a little bit of a different climate than the lower Rockies. Utah was also quite dry.
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Re: Projected snowmelt in Wyoming

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:57 pm

Wyoming is a bit like California, in that it sits right in the middle of the "northern" Rockies and the "southern" Rockies, so some years gets weather typical of one and other years visa versa. It is similar here, where sometimes we mimic the PNW and sometimes the desert SW. This year has been a big snow year for the Northern Rockies (and PNW). In fact the Tetons and Yellowstone are quite above normal.

Be aware that in the Spring, the "percent average" snowpack numbers swing wildly. That is because it is common to get big late spring snowstorms that dump 3-4 feet of snow at the lower elevations. Given that "normal" snowpack in May is only up in the mountains, these late spring storms can really skew the basin averages.
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