Aspen Journalism is compiling a data dashboard highlighting metrics of local public interest, updated weekly by mid-day Tuesday.
Local streamflow on the decline down to about 50-60% of average for most streams
The USGS gauge located on the Roaring Fork River below Maroon Creek measured streamflow at 79.5% of average or 622 cfs on June 26, down significantly from 1,130 cfs on June 19.
Near Emma, the Roaring Fork was flowing at 944 cfs on June 26, or 55.2% of average. That’s down from 1,610 cfs on June 19.
The Crystal River above Avalanche Creek, near Redstone, flowed at 689 cfs, or about 59.4% of average, on June 26. That’s down from June 19 when the river reached the peak of 1,350 cfs.
Downstream, the Crystal River at the CPW Fish Hatchery bridge ran at 761 cfs on June 26, down from 1,680 cfs on June 19.
Lake Powell’s gained two feet of elevation since last week
Lake Powell‘s storage remains at one of its lowest levels recorded since it began filling in the 1960s. However, the amount of water stored in the reservoir increased over the past month, as the annual runoff boosted river flows.
On June 26, the reservoir was 28.16% full. On June 15, it was 27.6% full. The reservoir’s capacity has fallen since last year, when on June 26, 2021, it was 34.4% full.
On June 26, Lake Powell’s elevation reached 3.539.4 feet, or 160.6 feet from full pool, up from 3,537.2 feet on June 15. Last year, on June 26, the reservoir reached 3,560.57 feet, or 139.43 feet from full pool. The surface elevation of Lake Powell came back up above the target elevation of 3,525 feet on May 16, after dipping below it on March 15.
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.
Aspen air temperature is getting closer to normal
High air temperatures at the Aspen airport dropped below normal on June 20, from 86°F on June 16 to 72°F on June 20, which is about four degrees below normal. Since then, maximum air temperature has been closer to normal. On June 22, it reached 75°F, or 1.5°F below normal. The minimum dropped from 52°F on June 18 to 31°F on June 21 before going back up to 43°F on June 22, about 0.4 degrees above normal.
Overall ‘good’ air quality reported in Aspen last week with the exception of two days
The air quality in Aspen was “good” this past week besides June 20 and 21, when air quality was moderate and the AQI index for ozone reached 87 and 64, respectively. The “moderate” air quality was due to smoke coming from Arizona wildfires.
For the remainder of the week, the AQI index for ozone ranged from 32 on June 26 to 42 on June 22 and 25.
- Colorado’s Division of Water Resources
- Bureau of Reclamation
- Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District
- Aspen Global Change Institute