Water supply forecast shows record snow in northern parts of West

April 17, 2014

WASHINGTON — Far below normal streamflow is expected for the Southwest, however.

WASHINGTON — March storms increased snowpack in the northern half of the West but didn’t provide much relief for the dry southern half, according to data from the U.S Department of Agriculture’s National Water and Climate Center (NWCC) in its April 2014 water supply forecast, according to a press release.

According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Washington, most of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and northern parts of Colorado and Utah are expected to have near normal or above normal water supplies, according to the forecast, noted the release.

Far below normal streamflow is expected for southern Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah and western Nevada, the release reported.

Read more: Near record-low California snowpack measurement warns of water supply challenges

Early April is commonly regarded as the transition from snow accumulation to snowmelt, continued the release, making the April 1 water supply forecast of key importance for planning, according to NWCC hydrologist Cara McCarthy.

"Many water managers, reservoir operators, irrigation districts and hydroelectric power companies make significant strategic decisions based on the April forecasts," McCarthy said.

Read the full release here.