Bureau of Reclamation Releases 2020 Snow-melt Forecast

Written by on January 15, 2020

There’s a different kind of weather forecast for 2020 available.

The Bureau of Reclamation Office in Billings has released their snow-melt predictions for the entire Bighorn River Basin. The report lists the forecasted acre-feet of water for six major bodies of water in the Basin – Bighorn Lake, Boysen Reservoir, Bull Lake Reservoir, Bull Lake Creek, Wind River, and of course, the Buffalo Bill Reservoir.

In our neck of the woods the April through July snow-melt at Buffalo Bill is forecast at 675,000 acre-feet. That forecast is 91% of the average 30-year inflow for the same period, typically around 742,600 acre-feet. This seems to be the average for most of the listed bodies, which will face a 2020 April – June average of anywhere from 89 – 92% their 30-year average.

There are exceptions – both Boysen Reservoir and Wind River will see up to 107% of their 30-year average acre-feet. This is following the trend seen at both bodies over the past few years.

Here;s the complete forecast for the Bighorn River Basin:

• Bighorn Lake – Bighorn River April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast at 1,114,600 acre-feet (af), which is 89 percent of the 30 year average of 1,256,400 af.
• Buffalo Bill Reservoir – Shoshone River April through July inflow to Buffalo Bill Reservoir is forecast at 675,000 af, which is 91 percent of the 30 year average of 742,600 af.
• Boysen Reservoir – Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 660,000 af, which is 107 percent of the 30 year average of 617,400 af.
• Bull Lake Reservoir – April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 135,000 af, which is 94 percent of the 30 year average of 143,800 af.
• Wind River – April through July snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 450,000 af, which is 103 percent of the 30 year average of 437,900 af.
For additional information on Buffalo Bill, Boysen, and Bull Lake Reservoirs, contact Wyoming Area Manager Carlie Ronca at 307-261-5671. For additional information on Yellowtail Reservoir, contact Montana Area Manager Steve Davies at 406-247-7298.

 


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