Spring and Summer Runoff 2013

Artemus

I walk
.
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,404
Heads up,

For your backcountry planning purposes it looks like the snowpack in most of Utah and the close surroundings is about 75% of normal. Runoff conditions are going to be similar in March and runoff in April through the rest of spring goes down to 50% of normal. This forecast is from Brian M. the state hydrologist at the NWS who is credible. Plan accordingly: dry ground early, easy stream and river crossings earlier than normal, high country open earlier than normal desert streams dried up earlier than normal.

Bad news for the climate and the environment but good news for high country travelers.

 

Artemus

I walk
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Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,404
Welcome.. Dan's right of course. The animals and plants will be suffering. Especially the ancient Whitebark Pines near treeline which are experiencing a mass decline and die off in our precious Wind Rivers.

The cross country alpine and high country travel will be dry. Reminds me of my Uintah's crossing on the Highline two years ago. We crossed the entire 75 miles having to wade only one stream and NEVER getting wet feet from marsh or wetlands or stream crossings. Only a couple of short snow patches to cross even on the north side of the divide.
 

Aldaron

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
Yeah, thanks for posting this. It's definitely a mixed blessing...I usually dread low snow years because I fear bad forest fires.

We just spent part of the day up on the Mirror Lake Highway. It's bizarre how little snow there is up there.
 

Aldaron

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
Yeah, it's still closed at Soapstone. I would say that in the two miles before Soapstone the snow levels started picking up, but I would still put it at only a little over two feet around the road. But you could tell that it hadn't snowed much because there weren't big piles of snow along the road and at the parking areas from the plows.
 

Dave

Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"
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May 5, 2012
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1,722
It's worth mentioning as well that the continuing drought will mean widespread fire restrictions again this year. The Utah legislature has been busy with bills this session that will allow for more clear closure rules. Last year there was a big question whether or not the state forester could ban target shooting in state/county lands. That likely won't be the case from now on.

If you plan on having backcountry campfires in 2013, you'd better get out in the shoulder seasons.
 
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