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Great Plains Region
Billings, Mont.
Media Contact:
John H. Lawson
(307) 261-5671
Mark Andersen
(406) 247-7610

Released On: May 02, 2003

Snowmelt Runoff Forecast - Bighorn River Basin
The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Mills, Wyoming, has prepared snowmelt runoff forecasts for the Shoshone and Wind Rivers of the Bighorn River Basin, according to John H. Lawson, Wyoming Area Manager. The May 1, forecast of the spring snow melt runoff is below normal for all areas.

The Bighorn Basin forecast indicates inflows from the Shoshone River to Buffalo Bill Reservoir during the April through July period will be 560,000 acre-feet (AF) (82% of average), compared to a 30-year average of 680,000 acre-feet. Of this amount 48,800 AF was received in April, leaving 511,200 AF of runoff forecasted for May through July.

The Wind River portion of the Bighorn River Basin April through July inflow forecast includes the snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek, which is expected to be 110,000 acre-feet (78% of average), of which 2,400 AF was received in April, and the snowmelt runoff into the Wind River above Bull Lake Creek, which is expected to be 320,000 acre-feet (75% of average) of which 24,200 AF was received in April. The expected inflows to Boysen Reservoir for the April through July period are 250,000 acre-feet (42% of average), of which 37,000 AF was received in April leaving 213,000 AF of runoff forecasted for May through July.

With Boysen Reservoir storage near record low and only 42% of average inflow forecasted for April through July of this year, water users will need to take measures to conserve the available water supply.

The Bureau of Reclamation will update the inflow forecasts again in June.

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