While the winter of 2012/2013 officially ended on March 20th, spring in Teton Valley and Jackson Hole can be mean and cruel but it also can be nice and pleasant. During the month of January 2013, we experienced a drought weather cycle that brought only an estimated 45 inches of precipitation to our area. This came as a worry as we desperately needed a strong winter snowpack after last summer season’s abnormally hot and dry conditions to recharge our river systems and reservoirs.
At the current moment, the Snake River Basin is sitting at 77% of capacity. This is a good thing! Jackson Lake is 76% of capacity, Palisades is 48% of capacity and American Falls 97% of capacity. The Henry’s Fork drainage is look good as well; however, the shallow nature of these reservoirs and lakes allow them to fill easily.
While flows where very low on the South Fork during the winter months, it looks like the Buero of Land Reclamation was able to save and store some water for the summer. Flows have been increased on the South Fork of the Snake the past couple of weeks to around 3,800 cfs, which is not unusual. The 67 year average of flows shows median discharges around 5,000 to 6,000 cfs during this time of year