Bled DryNews Type: Regional Source: Hatch Magazine
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It’s easy to dismiss this as just another dry summer. The vagaries of weather and snowpack in the West are well known. But it seems to me that the window for enjoying the river has been steadily shrinking over the last thirty years, and that impression is bolstered by an increasing body of hard data.
Last winter, precipitation in the upper North Platte River basin was eighty-three percent of average, and, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, that’s the new normal— over the last twenty years, there have been only three with water content in the snowpack that edged over the long-term average. The reduced amount of water, combined with steadily increasing temperature, has brought an earlier, quicker melt and thirstier summers.