jpgs - 2012 spring runoff Bitterroot River in late April
Air temperatures were in the 70 degree range beginning about April 20. These photos were taken April 24. Look at the graphs and you can see how the rivers have been rising. The last two days the Bitterroot Valley air temperatures have been over 80 degrees. These photos were taken when Bell Crossing flows were at about 4,700 cubic feet per second (cfs) - 2 pm. Right now it is 6:30 pm and the flows at Bell Crossing are at 5,480 cfs. That is a big jump. The gauge downriver (north) near Missoula measured 8,190 cfs at 8:45 am and now at 6:30 pm it is measuring 9,280 cfs - closing in on 10,000 cfs!!!
The snowpack in the Bitterroot River Basin earlier this month was over 100%. Today it is 89%.
The photos are all taken from Bell Crossing starting upriver looking southwest and rotating counter-clockwise to the east, then south, finally southwest into the parking lot. As I was there, a LOT of large woody debris was moving down the river.
Apr 24, 2012