2:10 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Snowy Winter Brings Record Snowpack

Snowpack around the state is above average this year. Tony Bergantino, a climatologist with the Wyoming State Climate Office, says it’s the highest snowpack on record in five of Wyoming's basins. 

“They’re all above normal, and up in the upper northwest and southwest and in the central part of the state, they’re at the lowest,” se says. “And that’s still about 114-115 percent of normal.”

Bergantino says the snowy winter has brought most of the state out of drought conditions.  

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5:10 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Winter Snow Control Takes WYDOT Over Budget

Credit Associated Press

Heavy snowfall this winter has crashed the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s budget.  Budget Officer Kevin Hibbard says WYDOT budgeted $22-million, but the department over-spent that amount at the beginning of March.  

“February this year was the most expensive month,” Hibbard says.  “We had about 6-million dollars in snow control expenditures in the month of February.”

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Open Spaces
4:03 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

UW’s WyCEHG program could help Wyoming get the most out of its water

Hydrogeophysicist Steve Holbrook marks the GPS coordinates of points where he and his team will seismically measure the subsurface. Holbrook co-directs the Wyoming Center for Hydrology and Geophysics, which hopes to better understand snowpack and aquifers in the state.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

In such an arid state as Wyoming, water is precious. Last year, the University of Wyoming created the Wyoming Center for Hydrology and Geophysics, combining field experts and state-of-the art technology to better understand where water goes in after it falls from the sky, since much of it ends up in snowpack or underground.

There isn’t too much information available about that, but it’s important to state and local water managers, who need to know just how much water they have to work with. Rebecca Martinez reports.


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5:41 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Despite storms, Wyoming could still face summer water shortages

Credit 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.

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6:02 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Wyoming might get average levels of precipitation this summer

Recent snow storms have brought Wyoming’s level of precipitation back to normal for the month.  That’s compared with April of last year– preceding the largest drought in history–when Wyoming was at 66% of average.

The Belle Fourche River Basin has the highest level of precipitation in the state at 300% of average.  And the Sweetwater Basin has the statewide low at 81%.

Ken Von Buettner is a hydrologic technician for the Natural Resources Conservation Council. Von Buettner is optimistic about having a summer with normal levels of precipitation.

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5:14 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

2013 Snowpack Forecast Just Short of Average

Wyoming’s snowpack is roughly 20% lower than it was at this time last year. It’s currently at 83% of what is considered normal. But state water supply specialist Lee Hackleman says forecasts indicate that 2013 will be a “neutral year”, meaning we may end up with only slightly below average snowpack going into the summer.

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8:41 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Dry weather could lead to hay shortage

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is warning that the warm, dry weather this spring could drive up winter hay prices.

Wyoming’s snowpack is less than 30 percent of average, and Water Supply Specialist Lee Hackleman says farmers who get their water by diverting streams and rivers will be left high and dry.

“There’ll be a lot of people who will probably get their first cutting irrigated but won’t have any water for their second cutting,”
Hackleman said. “So there’s liable to be a hay shortage again this winter.”

6:45 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Wyoming Snowpack Improves

A water supply specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service says recent snowfall has improved the snowpack in the state.  Lee Hackleman says snowpack is 92 percent of normal statewide after sitting at 80 percent earlier this month.

 “The whole state went up this last week,” says Hackleman. “Some areas went up quite a bit more, like around the Wind rivers and up around the Park, they significantly went up there.  But even in the southern part of the state where we didn’t get as much,they still went up.”

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7:48 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Experts predict below average runoff in Wyoming

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.

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