Reclamation Snowmelt Forecast for North Platte River Basin

May 13, 2024 | Ag

Mills, WY (RELEASE) May 13th, 2024 — The May forecasts indicate the spring snowmelt runoff will be average to slightly below average. Total April through July runoff in the North Platte River Basin above Glendo Dam is expected to be 854,000 acre-feet (af), which is 90% of the 30-year average.  Approximately 152,000 af of runoff was received in April.

 The total conservation storage capacity of the North Platte Reservoir System is approximately 2,815,800 af. As of April 30, 2024, the combined storage content in the North Platte Reservoirs was 2,038,215 af, which is 111% of the 30-year average.

 Current releases are 2,600 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Seminoe Reservoir through the Miracle Mile. Releases out of Gray Reef Reservoir are 1,500 cfs. Glendo and Guernsey Reservoir releases meeting irrigation demand. Based on current projections for the months of May, June, and July, the releases out of Seminoe Reservoir are expected to peak at around 2,600 cfs in May and June, while flows out of Gray Reef are expected to be in the range of approximately 1,000 to 2,600 cfs. Releases from Guernsey will be in the 2,000 to 5,000 cfs range. Pathfinder Reservoir is not expected to spill this spring. Based on our current forecast, an allocation is not expected for our North Platte Project contractors.

 Reclamation’s Wyoming Area Office operates seven reservoirs on the North Platte River with Seminoe Reservoir farthest upstream and Guernsey Reservoir farthest downstream. This system provides irrigation supply to hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland and produces power generation from 6 powerplants which supply power to tens of thousands of homes.