The winter of 2012 is hanging on, with continued below-freezing temperatures, overcast skies and snow flurries almost every day. Area rivers and streams are low at this writing, with not much snowpack in the higher elevations, as it was a dry winter with few snowfalls - most snowstorms seemed to pass south of the Catskills.
The Beaverkill at Cooks Falls is flowing at 223 cubic feet per second, which is below the average flow of 460 cfs for March 6 over 97 years of record-keeping. The highest flow recorded on this date was 8780 cubic feet per second in 1979; the lowest recorded flow was 120 cfs back in 1931.
The NYC reservoir system is reported to be at 87.1% capacity; slightly higher than the average capacity of 85.0% for March 5; probably due to the favorable water levels of last Fall heading into the winter. This is despite very low precipitation averages of just 1.17inches for February of 2013, as compared to the historic February average of 2.69 inches of precipitation. For January of 2013, the reservoirs received just 1.56 inches of precipitation as compared to 3.11 inches historically in that month.
It will be interesting to see how quickly the weather warms up this month; last March (2012) we noticed fish rising in the Willowemoc by the 20th of March under warm sunny skies; and were successful in catching a few in the Special Regulations section of that river on March 21.....can't be too long now!