Aspen Journalism is compiling a data dashboard highlighting metrics of local public interest, updated weekly.
Fork’s streamflow is up
At Stillwater, located upstream of Aspen, the Roaring Fork River ran at 33.6 cfs on Oct. 9, or 78.1% of average, up from last week when the river ran at 32.2 cfs and 71.6% of average.
Water through the tunnel that sends Roaring Fork flows east of the Continental Divide dropped from 14.2 cfs on Sept. 17 to 1.6 cfs on Oct. 9.
The USGS sensor below Maroon Creek recorded the Fork running at 166 cfs on Oct. 9, or 122.1% of average, up from 118 cfs and 98.3% of average, on Oct. 1.
At Emma, below the confluence with the dam-controlled Fryingpan, the Oct. 9 streamflow of 363 cfs represented about 89.6% of average. That’s up from 323 cfs on Oct. 1 and from 76.9% of average.
Meanwhile, the Crystal River above Avalanche Creek, which is not impacted by dams or transbasin diversions, flowed at 64 cfs or 59% of average. Last week, the river ran at 66 cfs, or 61.3% of average.
The Colorado River ran at 2,200 cfs at Glenwood Springs, or 101.4% of average, on Oct. 9, down from 2,170 cfs last week, while the Colorado flowed at 3,220 near the Colorado-Utah stateline, or 80.1% 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 down from last week
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 Oct. 9, the reservoir was 37.61% full (based on updated 2017-18 sedimentation data). That’s down from Oct. 1, when the nation’s second-largest reservoir was at 37.7%.
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 Oct. 9, 2022, the reservoir was 25.13% full.
On Oct. 9, Lake Powell’s elevation reached 3,573.3 feet, or 126.7 feet from full pool, which is down from 3,573.6 feet on Oct. 1. Last year, on Oct. 9 the reservoir reached 3,530.38 feet in elevation, or 169.62 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.
Above-normal air temperatures at ASE
High air temperatures at the Aspen airport went from 67°F on Sept. 23 to 77°F on Sept. 30, which is about 15 degrees above average, before dropping to 73°F on Oct. 1. Meanwhile, low temperatures went from 30°F on Sept. 24 to 45°F on Oct. 1, or about 13 degrees above normal.
‘Good’ air quality reported in Aspen
The air quality in Aspen was “good.” The air quality index for ozone ranged from 31 on Oct. 2 and Oct. 1 to 38 on Oct. 4.
- Colorado’s Division of Water Resources
- Bureau of Reclamation
- Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District
- Aspen Global Change Institute