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Wind River basin snow 45 percent of average, mirroring state figure

May 1, 2012 - Staff and wire reports

A warm, dry spring is continuing to drive Wyoming's mountain snow depths lower in sharp contrast to last year, when flood worries were at high pitch as May began.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service reports Wyoming's snowpack pack at 45 percent of average, compared with 152 percent of average at this time last year.

Last week's figure was 54 percent of average.

The Wind River Basin drainage, which supplies irrigation water for most Fremont County residents, mirrored the state figures as of Monday, also at 45 percent. Wind River drainage snowpack was 58 percent a week earlier and stood at 125 percent last year and would grow to about 200 percent in many locations by the end of May.

The state agency reported all of the state's basins at below average this week. The snow in the Cheyenne Basin was registered at just 2 percent, up from zero a week ago.

The Madison basin has highest snowpack at 90 percent of average while Yellowstone is at 87 percent.

NRCS water supply specialist Lee Hackleman says that if things don't improve in May, this year's snow levels could reach an all-time low.

May still holds considerable promise for mountain snow, and snowstorms in May are not uncommon at lower elevations as well.

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