Growers in Wyoming and Colorado are fearful winter storms will short them on water this year.
Already, snowpack and reservoir levels are very low. Most mountain areas of the two states missed out on early winter snows and are now entering the typically drier midwinter months.
Colorado’s front basin range is so dry water forecasters are already warning users that it will mean below-average water supplies for next summer.
Statewide snowpack is at 65 percent of normal. Many snow basins are below that. The Rio Grande Basin, that feeds the potato production areas of the San Luis Valley, is at 48 percent of average. Reservoirs in the region are 60 percent full.
Only a very wet and snowy period of 90 days can bring Colorado areas up to par. But the forecasters are saying no. Computer models indicate a ridge of high pressures parked over the Rockies.
In Wyoming reservoir levels are at 54 percent of normal. This is the second dry year in a row for Wyoming. A Governor’s taskforce will meet March 19 to talk about the future of the state if the drought continues.