October 1st marks the beginning of a new water year. Also a time to review the water year just ended. With the exception of a rather dry summer, Star Valley and surrounding areas were favored with beneficial moisture,including both rain and snow.
The first figure displays the total precipitation that was measured from October 1 2016-September 30 2017(Water Year) for much of western Wyoming and surrounding areas.
|Total Precipitation Oct. 1 2016 to Sept. 30 2017
Much of Northern and Western Wyoming experienced above to much above normal precipitation for the water year 2016/2017, noted in the following figure.
Daily observations of rain and snow are measured at Star Valley Ranch. Following are the monthly totals in inches of each at the Star Valley Ranch site at an elevation near 6400 feet.
Month Rain Snow
Oct 2016 6.05 9.8
Nov 1.63 17.5
Dec 3.90 64.0
Jan 2017 5.00 69.5
Feb 5.04 41.1
Mar 2.81 17.2
Apr 4.56 23.7
May 1.47 5.0
Jun 2.06 0
Jul .22 0
Aug .62 0
Sep 4.69 4.0
Total 38.05 251.8
The consequence of last winters snows was a very large spring and early summer runoff that filled the Snake River reservoir system by the first of July. The water levels remain well above normal even as the new water year begins. The graph below compares the current vs last year and average water supply in Palisades reservoir.
With the benefical precipitation during the last half of September, the water level in Palisades has actually increased recently. It will be of interest to see how the coming winter snow impacts the well above normal current water storage in the Snake River System..