Animas River: ‘The amount was 9,209 acre-feet, the lowest total in 102 years’ — The Durango Herald #CODrought

animasriveratdurangonovember2012.jpg

Click on the thumbnail graphic for the discharge graph for November for the Animas River at Durango gage.

From The Durango Herald:

The flow, given in acre-feet, was the total amount of water that flowed past the Durango gauging station in 30 days. The amount was 9,209 acre-feet, the lowest total in 102 years. The rate of flow, which is measured in cubic feet per second and reflects the amount of water passing by a fixed point every second, wasn’t great, either. It varied from a minimum of 133 cfs to a maximum of 176 cfs…

The second-lowest total flow in the Animas River at Durango during November was in 1934 when 9,374 acre-feet was recorded.

From The Telluride Daily Planet (Collin McRann):

At the end of a year that saw a dry spring and early summer, Telluride has fallen way behind average for annual precipitation. According to records kept by resident Thom Carnevale, Telluride saw 15.42 inches of precipitation for the year through Nov. 30 — about six and a half inches below the average to-date number of 21.73 inches. November saw just .39 inches of precipitation, down from the monthly average of 1.53 inches.

Though the year might be a wildcard in terms of snowfall, over the past 62 years, warm weather in the region — which meteorologists are predicting — has traditionally not been good for snowfall.

“Based on research done by Joe Ramey, here in Western Colorado, even though the Climate Prediction Center is predicting equal chances for either above or below average precipitation — chances are it will be dry,” said Jim Pringle, a meteorologist at the NOAA’s Grand Junction office. “Since 1950 when we’ve had significantly dry periods, a good number of them were during neutral sea patterns — there are only a couple of years where there are exceptions.”[...]

According to data from NOAA, most of San Miguel County has only received around 25 to 50 percent of average precipitation for the year, and the entire county is considered to be in severe drought, which it has been since early summer. Over the last month, most of the county has received 0 percent of the precipitation it got a month earlier.

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