Arizona Snowpack Measures Low, Forecasts Dry Spring

By  Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 3:01pm
Updated: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 4:01pm
(Photo by Laurel Morales - KJZZ)
Snow in Flagstaff, Arizona.

An unusually dry winter has led to a low snowpack this year, forecasting a dry spring. But, there is still a chance more snow will come.

Arizona is nearing peak snowpack time, which comes around mid-February and ends in March.

But the latest reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show the snowpack, which is supposed to be near the median of five inches, is only at a median of one inch.

Travis Kolling, a water specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said the 2018 numbers are a lot lower than the same time last year.

“Both of the January reports are exceptionally dry, and as far as the forecast numbers show, it’s going to be a drier-than-normal spring runoff period for most of the state," said Kolling.

City water managers and providers will follow closely to see how the runoff will end up in Arizona’s basins by spring.

“Some of those [fed by the runoff] are the Salt and Verde rivers, and these forecasts are then used by water providers such as SRP for more improved water management for irrigation, domestic water use, power generation and flood control," Kolling said.

The snowpack is at 22 percent of what it should be.

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