The winter of 2017 has helped with the volume of water in our rivers, streams and reservoirs. All had been classified as 'severe drought conditions' during the summer and fall of 2016, and our Catskill waters had been about as low as anyone could remember in recent memory.
The snow we received from the Blizzard of March 14 (about 30 inches in much of the Beaverkill drainage area, Sullivan and Delaware counties) added a good volume of usable precipitation. Coupled with single-digit temperatures and more snowfall in the intervening days, ice formed on the river’s surface and was quite impressive by the weekend, looking like a solid surface that could be skied upon! Fortunately the ‘ice out’ phenomenon was not harmful to those downstream, and the normal melting and runoff seems to be going along pretty easily. With intermittent rain and showers predicted for a few days, the snowpack should be greatly decreased by the Trout Season opener on Saturday, April 1.
A check of the USPS website showed that the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls was flowing at 720 cubic feet per second on Monday afternoon; water levels are spiking straight up at this writing and so the overall flow by the end of the day will be increased. The average flow for this date of March 27 was 911 cfs over 102 years of record-keeping. The minimum flow recorded was 139 cubic feet per second back in 1960, and the maximum flow recorded on March 27 was 6820 cfs in 1963.
Water temperatures this past week ranged from a low of 32.5 degrees Fahrenheit last Monday morning to a high of 42 degrees F last Tuesday afternoon.
The East Branch Delaware River was flowing at 1270 cubic feet per second on Monday morning; water levels are spiking straight up at this writing and so the overall flow by the end of the day will also be increased. The average flow for this date of March 27 was 1670 cfs based on 61 years of record-keeping. The minimum flow recorded was 250 cubic feet per second back in 1960, and the maximum flow recorded on March 27 was 13,500 cfs in 1963.
Water temperatures on the East Branch this past week ranged from a low of just about 33 degrees F last Monday morning to a high of 42 degrees F last Tuesday afternoon.
A check of our the NYC Catskill reservoirs on March 27, 2017 showed that the current capacity is 89.8 percent full; the ‘normal’ capacity for March 27 is 92.9% full. In checking the average precipitation, the precipitation for January, February and March 2017 were all a bit higher than the historical average for those months - which shows just how far water levels were down prior to this winter!