Weather Pattern Could Deplete Platte River

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

An El Nino weather pattern has the Nebraska state climatologist worried the state could lose recent gains in the Platte River system.

Al Dutcher said snow pack that fills the river is usually below normal during El Nino years, which are marked by a warming of the central Pacific Ocean.

Water storage in three Wyoming reservoirs and Nebraska's Lake McConaughy, which hold Platte River water, increased over the past year. But Dutcher said that if there is below-normal snow pack this winter in the Rocky Mountains, lake levels could drop next growing season.

Dutcher said models predict a 90 percent chance that the El Nino will carry through March, a 70 percent chance through April and a 40 percent chance it will run through May.

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