Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Western US Hydro Power Outlook

The seasonal outlook for western US hydropower output this summer is little changed.  Continued expectations for above average stream flow and generation from the northwest outweighs the lost output due to the drought in the Sierras, and the Colorado river basin is expecting runoff near normal though reservoir levels are well below normal:

Hydro output has been robust thus far in the Northwest:

And the streamflow outlook for the Columbia River is 108% of normal as of yesterday:

Meanwhile drought in the Sierras has snowpack at just 4% of normal for this date:

But California hydro output has not fallen much below last year so far.  But it should begin to decline soon, at a faster rate than last year.

And the snowpack graph for the Colorado river shows a near normal peak and a slightly earlier than normal melt off: