NCRS says western U.S. likely to face limited water supply this year

With a milder, drier winter forecasted, there will be little precipitation and snowpack to feed water supplies this year.

Water supply forecasters at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) National Water and Climate Center (NWCC) issued their first forecast for 2014—and the predictions are bleak for the west.  Driven by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts, which show low precipitation and a mild winter preventing the accumulation of mountain snow, NCRS says that water supplies will be limited west of the continental divide.

“Right now the West Coast is all red,” NRCS Hydrologist Tom Perkins said. “Early indications are it will be very dry in the western part of the West, but wetter as you travel east. There are some exceptions to this, as New Mexico, Arizona, parts of Utah and southern Colorado are also expected to be dry.”

While conditions can change, NCRS snowpack and announces its results so that water managers and water users can make “informed, science-based decisions about future water availability.”

Read the press release from NCRS and access Snow Survey Water Supply Forecasts

Written by Marta Weismann