Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bye, Bye Snow Pack

Today marks the official end of the snow pack at Galena Summit.  Yes, there is still snow here and there throughout the upper Salmon River watershed, especially in the Sawtooth Mountains.  However, the bulk of any snow which could make a real impact on river flows is gone.  The remaining snow will serve to keep the river flowing nicely, thank you. (Click here for the US NRCS Galena Summit SNOTEL site.)

Yesterday's high temperature in Stanley was 74 degrees, only 3 degrees off the 1980 record of 77.  This little does of heat served to bring down an extra helping of snow melt and brought the river up a wee bit at the Yankee Fork USGS gage, as you can see in the graphic below.  Meanwhile, the temperature in Stanley as we write this blog post is 40 degrees.  Some of the very high elevation data sites are showing temps as low as 17 degrees which means little or no snow melt will be coming down today--or anytime soon for that matter.  Temps in Stanley are progged to remain in the 40's for a few days with lows below freezing.  That means the high country spigot will be temporarily turned off, as least until very late May or early June when temps will rally up somewhat.  We are still sticking with our call that the river peaked May 17th and will proceed to recede for the remainder of The Water Year.

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