Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mid-May Salmon River Flows

As of May 16, the Salmon River continues to run above normal due to warm temperatures. Here is a screen shot of the mid-May flows. You can click on the summary for a larger version. (Narrative continues below.)
Below are two graphics which tell the tale of the Salmon just below its confluence with the Yankee Fork at Sunbeam, Idaho.  Note that the river has risen two feet in the past week.  Much of this flow is coming from the Yankee Fork itself as we shall see farther below.

Although the Yankee Fork is only a 182 square mile drainage it contains a lot of snow.  When high temperature hit early this snow can come off in a hurry as we are seeing right now.  Below the flow graphic for the Yankee Fork note the temperature graph for this important tributary.  The water is VERY cold now, dropping into the upper 30's each day.  Although the Main Salmon is warmer, it's not enough warmers to notice any difference.  All the runoff now waas snow only a day or two ago.  That's why it is so cold.

With such a robust runoff, it's going to take awhile for the river to drop back to boatable flows.

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