Park County Officials monitor spring snow melt
Wyoming's climate means the runoff from melting snow in the high country is of great importance to the entire state.
The Bureau of Reclamation monitors the amount of snowmelt that will flow to reservoirs and lakes across the state - that information is invaluable to residents that depend on water for recreation and for irrigation.
Spring, however, brings uncertainty. Depending on the amount of snowfall in the high country, and upon the warmth of the spring, flooding can be a concern for those who live along the banks of the Shoshone River.
Jack Tatum is the Park County Sheriff’s Office Division of Homeland Security Director. He said the amount of water in the snow, what’s called the snow-water-equivalent, is at a healthy level for the Big Horn Basin.
“Especially in this part of the state, the northwestern part of the state, we’re sitting good," he noted, "although there are some portions down south that are just a little below average."
Tatum has been consistently monitoring the ice situation on the South Fork - ice melting and re-freezing can back up rivers and streams, which can cause flooding. But he said the potential for that is low this year.
“We have a low to moderate potential for flooding," he explained. "It may happen, but we stay vigilant like we’re supposed to as emergency managers and folks who are watching that sort of thing."
The Bureau reports that most of the headwater basins across Wyoming have a generally low potential for flooding due to springtime snowmelt runoff.