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Rivers: Peak flows revised down

SPECIAL TO THE DAILY

The Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers won’t peak as high this spring as initially expected, according to revised forecasts from the National Weather Service.

The Roaring Fork River at Glenwood Springs is now expected to peak at about 5,900 cubic feet per second, according to a report the weather service’s Colorado Basin River Forecast Center released last week. The April report forecasted a peak flow of about 6,500 cfs.

A lack of precipitation throughout Colorado’s mountains in April, in conjunction with occasionally warm temperatures, has reduced the snowpack more quickly than expected and altered the potential for peak flows.

Despite the deflated projection for the Roaring Fork, peak flow is still expected to be slightly higher than last year. The Roaring Fork at Glenwood Springs hit a peak of 5,720 cfs on June 24, 2005. The river typically peaks between June 3 and 18, the report said.

The number reported for the peak is a maximum mean daily flow, not the single greatest amount the flow reaches at a given time.

Like the Roaring Fork, the peak flow for the Colorado River has also been revised downward. The Colorado is expected to reach a peak of 25,000 cfs at the state line with Utah. The river is expected to peak at 27,000 cfs at Cisco. Both figures are 4,000 cfs lower than anticipated in the weather service’s April report.

Information about the peak flow on area rivers and streams is available online at http://www.cbrfc.noaa.gov.


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