Local river flow conditions appear normal for summer
Post Independent Intern
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – With the recent warmer temperatures and a good runoff, Susie Larson, partner at Whitewater Rafting in Glenwood Springs, said the river has been great.
“Everyone has been having a great time,” Larson said. “We’ve had nice sunny days with high water, it’s actually been perfect.”
The Colorado River below Glenwood Springs is running near 11,900 cubic feet per second, according to the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) website.
The Roaring Fork River at Glenwood Springs is running higher than its average for June 2 – at about 4,400 cubic feet per second, or about 900 cubic feet per second higher than it’s average.
Byron Lawrence, Hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said even though the river is a little high right now, things are about normal after a little less than average snowfall.
“We’re not doing too bad,” he said. “The runoff and expected peak is just about what we usually see.”
Larson agreed saying despite the current high levels, this year has been about the same as recent years for her company.
“It’s similar,” she said. “There’s plenty of water this year. Nothing unusual however, it’s a pretty typical year actually.”
Lawrence said that the cold spring helped average out the precipitation for the Western Slope, after the snowfall was about 5 percent below average.
“The cold spring helped improve conditions,” he said. “It reduced snowmelt early so that in late April and in May we had a fairly decent snowpack.”
The average peak date for the Colorado River is June 8, according to the USGS’ website. The forecasted peak this year is right about average, around June 9, Lawrence said.
Lawrence added that after the peak, they expect for river levels to be right around average for the rest of the summer season.
One concern for recreational users is how cold the water currently is, Lawrence said.
“Right now the water is really cold,” he said. “It’s around the mid 50s and low 60s. If you fall into water like that, it doesn’t take long to become hypothermic.”
Lawrence advised for all recreational users to use caution, always use personal flotation devices, and for novices to go on the river with more experienced people.
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