Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Western U.S. Hydro Power Update: Overall Conditions Improving

Hydro power output in the western states continues to outpace last year, and the stream flow forecasts are improving overall.

California hydro output is still running about half of last year, but that is only a loss of about 1,000 MW of output.  

The pacific northwest (BPA region) is running at more than 5,000 MW above 2013.

Meanwhile the BPA stream flow forecast is now at 106.6% of normal as of yesterday:

Stream flow forecasts are still very low for the Sierra Nevadas, but they were very low last year as well.  In the past week the snowpack has deteriorated noticeably (early melt plus less precip):

Last week:  27% of Norm          This week:  23% of Norm

The snow pack in the Colorado River Basin is still at about average, with four weeks left before melt normally begins.