Local snow-moisture at 114 percent of median, with more precip to come

Wyoming’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has issued its last snowpack update of the season.

The Wind River Basin ended the season with an overall snow-water equivalent of 114 percent of median, according to the report.

The number is down slightly from last week’s total – 116 percent of median – but much better than the SWE recorded at the same time last year (81 percent of median) and in 2020 (40 percent of median).

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And there still could be more moisture in the forecast, NRCS hydrologist Jim Fahey said in his Wyoming Snowpack/SWE Update for May 24.

“As is usually the case across Wyoming during the Memorial Day weekend, expect wet conditions – with yes, a chance of snow – mainly across central through northern basins – especially during the latter part of the weekend,” Fahey said.

Over the next week – especially from Sunday through Tuesday – he said Wyomingites should expect mountain precipitation totals of 1-1.75 inches, mainly across central and northern watersheds, with accumulating snow of 8 to 18 inches at elevations above 9,000 feet.

h/t NRCS

After that, Fahey forecast “much drier conditions.”

Temperatures will be on a “spring-like rollercoaster” over the next week, too, Fahey continued, predicting above-average basin temperatures from the middle of the week to the early part of the weekend, followed by below-normal temperatures through the middle of next week.

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h/t NRCS

“All major drainages across Wyoming will see increased snowmelt at the 9,000- to 10,500-foot elevations by the end of the week, with drastically decreased snowmelt by the latter part of the upcoming weekend,” he said.

Fahey noted that central and northern watersheds still have around 75 percent of snowpack available to melt at the 9,000 to 10,500 elevations due to below-average temperatures in May across the northern half of Wyoming.

“Stream flows across Wyoming were mainly below normal for the latter part of May across a majority of basins,” Fahey said.

h/t NRCS

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