Aspen Journalism is compiling a data dashboard highlighting metrics of local public interest, updated weekly.

The Fork is running below average

Local streamflows are slowing down as snowpack is entirely melted and temperatures keep rising.

At Stillwater, located upstream of Aspen, the Roaring Fork River ran at 68.7 cfs on Aug. 6, or 81.8% of average, down from last week when the river ran at 79.5 cfs, but up from 82% of average.

Water through the tunnel that sends Roaring Fork flows east of the Continental Divide dropped from 114 cfs on July 16 to 40.5 cfs on July 23, down to 1.9 cfs on Aug. 6.

The USGS sensor below Maroon Creek recorded the Fork running at 294 cfs on Aug. 6, or 86% of average, down from 365 cfs, or 96.3% of average, on July 30.

At Emma, below the confluence with the dam-controlled Fryingpan, the Aug. 6 streamflow of 612 cfs represented about 99.5% of average. That’s down from 613 cfs on July 30, but up from 92.5% of average.

Meanwhile, the Crystal River above Avalanche Creek, which is not impacted by dams or transbasin diversions, flowed at 265 cfs or 106.4% of average. Last week, the river ran at 378 cfs, or 123.1% of average.

The Colorado River ran at 3,250 cfs at Glenwood Springs, or 103.2% of average, on Aug. 6, down from 3,000 cfs last week, while the Colorado flowed at 4,870 cfs near the Colorado-Utah stateline, or 108.5% of average.

Aspen Journalism is compiling real time streamflow data. You can find all the featured stations from the dashboard with their real-time streamflow on this webpage.

Lake Powell’s water levels keep dropping

Lake Powell‘s water levels began their seasonal rise in mid-March as warming temperatures initiated snowmelt, after the reservoir in the winter dropped to its lowest level on record since filling. Water levels peaked in early July and are now slowing decreasing. On Aug. 6, the reservoir was 39.56% full (based on updated 2017-18 sedimentation data). That’s down from July 30, when the nation’s second-largest reservoir was at 40.1%.

Last year, on July 1, 2022, the Bureau of Reclamation revised its data on the amount of water stored in Lake Powell, with a new, lower tally taking into account a 4% drop in the reservoir’s total available capacity between 1986 and 2018 due to sedimentation. Aspen Journalism in July published a story explaining the that drop in storage due to sedimentation. We will be now using the 2017-18 sedimentation data only.

On Aug. 6, 2022, the reservoir was 29.43% full.

On Aug. 6, Lake Powell’s elevation reached 3,579.1 feet, or 120.9 feet from full pool, down from 3,580.7 feet on July 30. Last year, on Aug. 6, the reservoir reached 3,535.38 feet in elevation, or 164.62 feet from full pool.

The “minimum power pool” for turbines generating hydropower at the Glen Canyon Dam is 3,490 feet, and 3,525 feet has been set as a buffer to ensure that the reservoir and the turbines can continue to function properly.

High air temperatures lost 14 degrees in 10 days

High air temperatures at the Aspen airport dropped from 91°F on July 24 to 75°F on Aug. 3 as monsoon season started. Meanwhile, low temperatures ranged from 49°F on Aug. 3 to 55°F on July 28.

Clean air in Aspen

The air quality in Aspen was “good.” The AQI index for ozone ranged from 38 on July 31 to 46 on Aug. 2.

Laurine Lassalle is Aspen Journalism’s data desk editor, where she works to catalogue and analyze local public data. She also heads our our “Tracking the Curve” project, documenting COVID-19 in Pitkin,...