Low runoff could affect farmers, rafters, fish in some Colo. basins | VailDaily.com

Low runoff could affect farmers, rafters, fish in some Colo. basins

Heather McWilliams
The Denver Post
J.C. Pinkett, of Golden, fishes on clear creek just east of Black Hawk Thursday afternoon. "Usually it is no good for fishing but great for rafting," said Pinkett of the low water levels in the creek. Snowpack in the mountains has been slow to melt this season and the creeks and rivers leading into resevoirs are running at lower than normal levels. Reza A. Marvashti / The Denver Post

Fresh snow still caps the mountains and the Front Range remains soggy, but Colorado water experts say the heavy snow and rain in the past weeks won’t make up for a relatively dry winter.

“Overall, the runoff is expected to be lower than average across the state,” said Mike Gillespie, snow-survey supervisor for the National Resources Conservation Service.

Gillespie said that with statewide precipitation totals at about 87 percent of average, the chilly, wet weather would need to linger into June for a turnaround.

The recent wet weather did haul the state back from the brink of a year like 2002, one of the driest on record, said Treste Huse, service hydrologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Colorado Weather

“The wild card was the El Nino year,” she said. “It has brought a better chance of precipitation this late spring.”

Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_15083035

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