Northern Water Streamflow Forecasts Page
Colorado SNOTEL Statewide Snowpack Map
Colorado Snowpack Update - All State River Basins
Northern Water’s SnoWatch system displays snow accumulation (snowpack) data from remote Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) platforms in eight watersheds, covering an area from west of Loveland, CO to east of Kremmling, CO.
Individual maps show the geographic location of each watershed, while the accompanying graphs display year-to-date snow accumulation compared to a normal (average) year. Each graph includes a select group of SNOTEL sites that are representative of that particular watershed.
Melted Snow Key to Water Supply
Late spring and early summer snowmelt and runoff from the Rocky Mountains provides most of Colorado's water supply. Greater snowpack means favorable water supplies; lower amounts can signal an impending drought.
Northern Water’s West Slope collection system managers use snowpack and runoff data for long-term planning. Colorado-Big Thompson Project allottees and water users also benefit by knowing how much water their native (East Slope) watersheds will yield.
Snowpack and runoff data is updated daily, usually before 8 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. Snowpack data is available on the website October through June.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service collects all SnoWatch data. The NRCS network has 730 remote data collection platforms in the Western United States; approximately 90 are in Colorado. These SNOTEL sites continuously monitor snowpack and climate data and transmit it to a central computer in Portland, OR.
The SnoWatch pages provide SNOTEL site information in graph or tabular format, and include links to the NRCS SNOTEL web pages.
Northern Water has calculated the median curves for each SNOTEL site using historical data.
The graphs illustrate the average snow water equivalent (SWE) from the median date of the first snow accumulation to the median date of peak snow accumulation, and the median SWE from the median date of peak snow accumulation to the median date of complete melt.
This methodology differs somewhat from similar graphs prepared by the NRCS. For more information about our methodology, contact Luke Shawcross at firstname.lastname@example.org.