"Across most of the West, snowpack isn't just low, it's gone," said NRCS Hydrologist David Garen. "With some exceptions, this year's snowmelt streamflow has already occurred."
The snowpack at many of the stations for much of the Western U.S. is at, or near, the lowest on record, explains Garen, and unusually warm temperatures have hindered the growth of the snowpack and accelerated its melt, reported the release.
"It's been a dry year for the Colorado River," said NRCS Hydrologist Cara McCarthy. "Snowmelt inflow into the Lake Powell Reservoir is forecast at 34 percent of normal."
The Lake Powell Reservoir supplies water to many areas of the Southwest, continued the release, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Southern Arizona. "We only forecast streamflow from current conditions," adds McCarthy. "Spring and summer rains might relieve areas that are dry."
Information about snowpack serves as an indicator of future water availability for Western states in which snowmelt accounts for most of the seasonal water supply, noted the release.
Read the entire release here.