runoff

Associated Press

Last year’s drought could impact the Wyoming water supply this summer.

The National Weather Service says that, although recent storms have helped replenish mountain snowpack, there might not be enough to get back to normal levels of runoff, which is state’s most common water source for crops and municipalities.

NWS Hydrologist Jim Fahey says that’s because the upper soil levels were parched by the drought and will likely absorb much of the runoff. Fahey says this could become especially problematic for some people during the summer months.

Early predictions by federal hydrologists foresee below average mountain runoff in Wyoming this year because of a dearth of snow so far this winter.

Based on current snowfall in the mountains, hydrologists estimate that Wyoming's runoff this year will be about 81 percent of average.

The U.S. Agriculture Department's Natural Resources Conservation Service in Casper released its first spring runoff estimate on Tuesday. The agency will issue additional estimates into June.