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Historic, Archive Document 

Do not assume content reflects current 
scientific knowledge, policies, or practices. 




U.S.DE! 
NATIONAL I 


T. OF AGRICULTURE 


CURRENT SERIAL RE( 


FEDERAL - STATE - PRIVATE 

COOPERATIVE SNOW SURVEYS 

for 

ALASKA 


U. S. DEPARTMENT of AGRICULTURE , SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE 

and 

ALASKA SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICT 


Data included in this report were obtained by the agencies named 
above in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 
Alaska Power Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska 
Highway Dept., Alaska Department of Fish and Game, University 
of Alaska, Greater Anchorage Area Borough and others. 


Illlllllllllllll AS OFIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 
MAY 1,1969 
llll!lllll!llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 



TO RECIPIENTS OF WATER SUPPLY OUTLOOK REPORTS: 


Most of the usable water in western states originates as mountain snowfal I . This snowfal I accumulates during the winter and 
spring, several months before the snow melts and appears as streamflow. Since the runoff from precipitation as snow is delayed, 
estimates of snowmelt runoff can be made well in advance of its occurrence. Streamflow forecasts published in this report are 
based principally on measurement of the water equivalent of the mountain snowpack. 

Forecasts become more accurate as more of the data affecting runoff are measured. All forecasts assume that climatic 
factors during the remainder of the snow accumulation and melt season will interact with a resultant average effect on runoff. 
Early season forecasts are therefore subject to a greater change than those made on later dates. 

The snow course measurement is obtained by sampling snow depth and water equivalent at surveyed and marked locations in 
mountain areas. A total of about ten samples are taken at each location. The average of these are reported as snow depth and 
water equivalent. These measurements are repeated in the same location near the same dates each year. 

Snow surveys are made monthly or semi-monthly from January 1 through June 1 in most states. There are about 1400 snow 
courses in Western United States and in the Columbia Basin in British Columbia. In the near future, it is anticipated that 
automatic snow water equivalent sensing devices along with radio telemetry will provide a continuous record of snow water 
equivalent at key locations. 

Detailed data on snow course and soil moisture measurements are presented in state and local reports. Other data on 
reservoir storage, summaries of precipitation, current streamflow, and soil moisture conditions at valley elevations are also 
included. The report for Western United States presents a broad picture of water supply outlook conditions, including selected 
streamflow forecasts, summary of snow accumulation to date, and storage in larger reservoirs. 

Snow survey and soil moisture data for the period of record are published by the Soil Conservation Service by states about 
every five years. Data for the current year is summarized in a West -wide basic data summary and published about October 1 
of each year . 


PUBLISHED BY SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE 

The Soil Conservation Service publishes reports following the principal snow survey dates from January 1 through June 1 in 
cooperation with state water administrators, agricultural experiment stations and others. Copies of the reports for Western 
United States and all state reports may be obtained from Soil Conservation Service, Western Regional Technical Service Center, 
Room 209, 701 N. W. Glisan, Portland, Oregon 97209. 

Copies of state and local reports may also be obtained from state offices of the Soil Conservation Service in the following 
states: 


STATE 


ADDRESS 


Alaska 

Arizona 

Colorado (N. Mex.) 

Idaho 

Montana 

Nevada 

Oregon 

Utah 

Washington 

Wyoming 


P. O. Box "F", Palmer, Alaska 99645 

6029 Federal Building, Phoenix, Arizona 85205 

12417 Federal Building, Denver, Colorado 80521 

P. O. Box 38, Boise, Idaho 83707 

P. O. Box 98, Bozeman, Montana 59715 

P. O. Box 4850, Reno Nevada 89505 

1218 S. W. Washington St., Portland, Oregon 97205 

4012 Federal Building, Salt Lake City, Utah 841 1 1 

360 U.S. Court House, Spokane, Washington 99201 
P. O. Box 340, Casper, Wyoming 82602 


PUBLISHED BY OTHER AGENCIES 

Water Supply Outlook reports prepared by other agencies include a report for California by the 
Water Supply Forecast and Snow Surveys Unit, California Department of Water Resources, P. O. 

Box 388 , Sacramento , California 95802 — and for British Columbia by the Department of Lands, 
Forests and Water Resources, Water Resources Service, Parliament Building, Victoria, British Columbia 



• - SNOW SURVEYS 

m 

ALASKA 


Report Prepared by 

T. J. FREEMAN, Snow Survey Supervisor 


Issued By 

BLAINE O. HALLIDAY, State Conservationist 

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 
SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE 
P.O. BOX F, PALMER, ALASKA 


MAY 1969 


Low elevation snow has melted in most areas of Alaska. Snow packs at higher 
levels in the interior of the state are also considerably reduced over 
last month but little runoff has resulted. This year many snow courses 
which normally have good snow cover on May 1 are either bare of have the 
lowest snow depth on record. 

The watersheds of the Chena, Tanana, Susitna, Copper and 40 Mile Rivers 
were particularly short of show. Spring and early summer streamflow in 
these areas is expected to be substantially below normal. 

Storms in early and mid-April brought heavy snowfall to the Kenai 
Peninsula and portions of the mountains of S.E. Alaska. These areas 
have had somewhat greater than average snow cover throughout most of 
the winter. 

Soils were very dry in interior Alaska and low elevation snow is being 
absorbed almost completely. Any major runoff from snow melt will come 
from the higher areas of the mountains and will not show up in the 
streams until late May or June. 

YUKON above RAMPART 


Snow cover throughout this large region was far below average all winter. 
Low elevation snow has melted and much of the water has been absorbed 
by the soil. Streamflow from snowmelt will be much less than average. 


TANANA-CHENA DRAINAGE 


Low elevation snow in this area has also melted producing only light runoff. 
Southern and eastern slopes of the hills in the Chena basin are bare up to 
two thousand feet. Snow cover still remains on the western and northern 
slopes but most of this is expected to be absorbed by the dry soils. Some 
streamflow in late May and June should be produced by the snow cover at 
the high elevations. 

MATANUSKA-SUSITNA-COPPER 


The May 1 snow depths and water equivalents measured at snow courses in 
this area are much less than either last year or the average of the past 
several years. Most stations have the lowest reading on record. Snowfall 
in the Alaska Range of mountains was particularly light throughout the 
winter. The snow course measured at Fielding Lake indicated water content 
of only 1.8 inches. The average for 8 years of measurement at this station 
is 12.7 inches. Streamflow from snowmelt will be much less than normal. 

KUSKOKWIM 

Snow surveys were not made in the Kuskokwim drainage area this month but 
earlier measurements indicate a light snowpack. Most of the low elevation 
snow cover has melted producing light runoff. 

KOYUKUK 

Snowfall in that area of the Brooks Range draining into the Koyukuk River 
system has been less than normal and only about a third of that measured 
last year. Runoff is expected to be light. 

COASTAL DRAINAGE 

Snow water equivalent measured at the upper reaches of the Ship Creek 
watershed indicate a substanial increase over last month. Low elevation 
snow has largely been melted with little resultant streamflow. Most of 
the snow courses in the Coastal Drainage near Anchorage had less than 
normal snow cover as of May 1. 

SNETTISHAM DRAINAGE 

This area in the Coast Range of mountains in S.E. Alaska has had a heavy 
snowpack most of the winter. May 1 measurements indicate a considerable 
loss of snow water during the past month. Maximum snow water accumulation 
is normally reached near the first of May but this year is an exception. 
Streamflow from snowmelt is expected to be earlier and greater than average. 


ALASKA SNOW SURVEYS 


DRAINAGE BAS 1 N 

MAP 

DATE OF 

SNOW 

WATER 

CONTENT 

(INCHES) 

WATER 

CONTENT 

PREVIOUS 

SNOW COURSE 

NO. 

SURVEY 

( INCHES) 

LAST Year 

Average * 

YEARS OF 
RECORD 

YUKON Drainage: 








Log Cabin 

69 

4/30 

38 

9.8 

7.5 

11.6 

11 

TANANA-CHENA 








Yak Pasture 

17 

4/29 

0 

0.0 

2.7 

1.9 

8 

Cleary Summit 

18 

4/15A 

21 

4.8E 

6.5 

8.6 

6 



4/28 

18 

4.6 

7.2 

7.0 

8 

Little Chena 

19 

4/15A 

12 

3.0E 

4.8 

5.4 

7 



5/1 

T 

T 

5.1 

6.2 

7 

Mt . Ryan 

20 

4/15A 

17 

3.8E 

5.9 

8.5 

7 



5/1 

15 

3.8 

8.0 

9.5 

7 

Chena Hot Spring 

3 21 

4/15A 

12 

3.0E 

4.2 

— 

1 



5/1 

2 

.7 

5.1 

3.9 

5 

Big Windy 

22 

4/15A 

14 

3.9E 

3.4 

4.3 

6 



5/1 

17 

5.3 

4.4 

4.4 

6 

Munson Ridge 

23 

4/1 5A 

28 

6.7E 

11.4 

15.4 

7 



5/1 

28 

7.7 

14.0 

16.4 

7 

French Creek 

24 

4/28 

3 

0.8 

6.9 

8.3 

7 

Little Salcha 

25 

4/28 

0 

0.0 

4.5 

5.5 

7 

Wolf Creek 

76 

4/15 

5 

1.5E 

6.0 

— 

1 



5/1A 

5 

1.5E 

7.8 

— 

1 

Upper Chena 

75 

4/15A 

25 

5.5E 

8.5 

— 

1 



5/1 

15 

4.6 

10.2 

— 

1 

Colorado Creek 

27 

5/1 

0 

0.0 

3.5 

4.7 

3 

Caribou Mine 

28 

4/15A 

10 

2.4E 

4.1 

4.0 

3 



5/1 

T 

T 

3.4 

5.1 

3 

Big Delta 

29 

4/28 

0 

0.0 

0 

0.0 

8 

Tok Junction 

30 

4/29 

0 

0.0 

2.2 

1.8 

7 

Mentasta Pass 

31 

4/29 

T 

T 

6.1 

6.3 

7 

Fielding Lake 

33 

4/28 

8 

1.8 

14.2 

12.7 

8 

Fort Greely 

78 

4/28 

T 

T 

0 

2.8 

2 

Meadows Road 

79 

4/28 

0 

0.0 

0 

2.0 

2 

Donnelly Dome 

80 

4/28 

2 

0.6 

4.6 

10.0 

2 

Granite Creek 

81 

4/28 

0 

0.0 

1.7 

— 

1 

Bonanza Creek 

82 

5/1 

14 

3.6 

5.7 

— 

1 

COPPER RIVER: 








Mankomen Lake 

32 

5/1 

14 

2.4 

7.8 

7.8 

2 

Haggard Creek 

34 

4/28 

0 

0.0 

5.9 

5.9 

3 

Sanford River 

37 

4/29 

0 

0.0 

3.6 

2.7 

2 

St. Anne's Lake 

54 

4/29 

T 

T 

6.2 

4.2 

3 

Little Nelchina 

40 

4/29A 

19 

4.2E 

5.5 

— 

1 

Worthington Glac: 

. 55 

5/3 

30 

10.6 

25.2 

21.2 

11 

MATANUSKA-SUSITNA: 








Monahan Flat 

35 

4/29 

13 

3.2 

9.8 

7.8 

4 

Clearwater Lake 

36 

4/29 

T 

T 

4.9 

4.2 

4 

Fog Lakes 

38 

4/29 

0 

0.0 

5.8 

4.1 

4 

Oshetna Lake 

39 

4/29 

10 

2.1 

3.2 

3.6 

4 

Lake Louise 

41 

4/29 

0 

0.0 

4.5 

4.0 

4 


(*) Average for Period of Becord 

A - Aerial marker reading E - Estimated 


























! - ' 












. 










' 






























































• * 




















■ 

. 




i 

•. 0 ■■ .... • 






ALASKA SNOW SURVEYS 


DRAINAGE BAS 1 N 



SNOW 

WATER 

WATER CONTENT 

PREVIOUS 

and 

SNOW COURSE 

NGw 

SURVEY 

DEPTH 

( INCHES) 

CONTENT 
( I NCHES) 

LAST YEAR 

Average * 

RECORD 

MATANUSKA-SUSITNA 
Chelatna Lake 

(Cont 

44 

•d) 

4/29A 

27 

7.8E 

16.2 

12.3 

3 

Peters Hills 

45 

4/29A 

30 

8.7E 

16.2 

— 

1 

Talkeetna 

46 

4/29 

0 

0.0 

9.9 

9.8 

2 

Bald Mtn. Lake 

47 

4/29A 

13 

3.2E 

13.8 

9.9 

4 

Skwentna 

48 

4/29 

0 

0.0 

11.6 

10.4 

2 

Alexander Lake 

49 

4/29A 

6 

1.8E 

11.2 

9.9 

3 

Willow Airstrip 

50 

4/29 

0 

0.0 

0.0 

2.6 

4 

Independence Min 

e 51 

5/5 

36 

11.4 

— 

— 

— 

Sheep Mountain 

53 

5/3 

0 

0.0 

4.2 

3.2 

11 

COASTAL Drainage: 








McArthur 

52 

4/30A 

32 

11. 2E 

21.2 

17.0 

3 

Moraine 

56 

No measu 

rement 


6.9 

7.9 

11 

Ptarmigan 

57 

No measu 

rement 


9.8 

10.2 

10 

Marmot 

58 

No measu 

rement 


— 

— 

— 

Goat 

59 

No measu 

rement 


12.2 

— 

1 

Grizzly 

60 

No measu 

rement 


— 

— 

— 

Arctic Valley #1 

61 

4/30 

0 

0 

0.0 

0.0 

4 

Arctic Valley #2 

62 

4/30 

0 

0 

0.0 

0.0 

4 

Arctic Valley #3 

63 

4/30 

7 

1.7 

4.1 

4.0 

4 

Arctic Valley #4 

64 

4/30 

2 

0.6 

4.1 

4.3 

4 

Arctic Ski Bowl 

65 

4/30 

30 

10.4 

12.5 

13.1 

4 

Bird Creek 

66 

4/28 

42 

14.9 

19.8 

18.0 

2 

Ship Creek 

67 

4/28 

24 

7.2 

10.0 

9.7 

2 

Indian Pass 

68 

4/28 

55 

17.4 

25.9 

22.6 

o 

£ 

SOUTHEAST ALASKA: 








Upper Long Lake 

70 

5/1 

85 

40.3 

36.1 

42.6 

4 

Long Lake 

71 

5/1 

83 

36.8 

39.8 

47.0 

4 

Speel River 

72 

5/1 

43 

20.4 

21.4 

30.4 

4 

Crater Lake 

73 

5/1 

148 

77.0 

43.2 

65.4 

4 

Douglas. Ski Bowl 

84 

4/27 

87 

38.8 

32.2 


1 


A - Aerial marker reading Amr °‘ e > OT p ’ riod ° f R ‘ corJ E - Estimated 



LOCATION 

MAP 


Fort Yukon 


LEGEND 


Mejoli 


• Snow Course 
t Aerial Marker 

4 Aerial Marker & Snow Course 


Circle 


Livengood, 


Tanano 


Nenana 


Big Delta 


Dawson 


MT.-McJCIf 
NAT. PARI 

\l/_ 

<1>MT McKlf 


• # 32 

Paxson 


Te fling L 


Sis/inO. 


Lake. 

1 


Gulkana' 
Glen Allen^y 


gl enn 


is/inoL. 


’aimer 

«57 


.Chitina 


K/uane 

Lake 


McCarthy, 


Anchorogt 


Valdez 55 


Whitehorse 


V Kusawa L. 

\ 

Carcross 


Cordova 


Ski/ok l 


1 Togish I 


Seword 


Katalla 


Homer 


kSkogway 0 


o Yakutat 


Haines' 


70 T 

73t *72 
Juneou 


SNOW COURSES for ALASKA 


50 


50 


100 


150 


INDEX OF ALASKA SNOW COURSES 


MAP 
NO . 

COURSE NAME 

COURSE 
NO . 

ELEV . 

MA P 

No . 

COURSE NAME 

Course 
no . 

ELEV . 

l 

Anaktuvuk Pass 

51TT1A 

2100 

46 

Talkeetna 

50NN2 

350 

2 

Betties Field 

51RR1A 

640 

47 

Bald Mt. Lake 

49NN1A 

2150 

3 

Chandalar Lake 

48SS1A 

2040 

48 

Skwentna 

5iMMlA 

158 

4 

Squaw Lake 

48SS2a 

2150 

49 

Alexander Lake 

50MM1A 

200 

5 

Venetie 

46SS1A 

610 

50 

Willow Airstrip 

59MM2 

150 

6 

Arctic Village 

45TT1A 

2300 

51 

Independence Mine 

49MM7 

3300 

7 

Koness Lake 

44SS1A 

1790 

52 

McArthur 

51LL1A 

120 

8 

Coleen River 

42SS1A 

1100 

53 

Sheep Mountain 

45MM1 

2700 

9 

Vundik Lake 

43SSla 

950 

54 

St. Anne’s Lake 

46MM1A 

1985 

10 

Fort Yukon 

44RR1AM 

425 

55 

Worthington Glacier 

45MM2 

2400 

11 

Black River 

42RR1A 

650 

56 

Moraine 

48MM1 

2100 

12 

Circle City 

44QQ3A 

600 

57 

Ptarmigan 

48MM2 

3000 

13 

Bull Lake 

42QQla 

810 

58 

Marmot 

48MM8A 

2000 

14 

Eagle Village 

41PP1A 

900 

59 

Goat 

48MM7A 

3200 

15 

Boundary 

41PP3A 

3300 

60 

Grizzly 

48MM4A 

5000 

16 

Chicken Airstrip 

41PP2A 

1650 

61 

Arctic Valley #1 

49MM 1 

500 

17 

Y ak Pasture 

47PP1 

540 

62 

Arctic Valley #2 

49MM2 

1000 

18 

Cleary Summit 

47QQ1A 

2230 

63 

Arctic Valley #3 

49MM3 

2030 

19 

Little Chena 

46QQ2AP 

2200 

64 

Arctic Valley H 4 

49MM4 

2330 

20 

Mt. Ryan 

46QQ1AP 

2950 

65 

Arctic Ski Bowl 

49MM5 

.3000 

21 

Chena Hot Springs 

46QQ3 

1250 

66 

Bird Creek 

49MM6A 

2350 

22 

Big Windy 

44QQ2AP 

3850 

67 

Ship Creek 

49MM7AM 

1750 

23 

Munson Ridge 

46PP1AP 

3100 

68 

Indian Pass 

49MM8A 

2350 

24 

French Creek 

46PP2MP 

2010 

69 

Log Cabin (B.C.) 

35KK1 

2880 

25 

Little Salcha 

46PP3 

1500 

70 

Upper Long Lake 

33JJ2a 

1000 

26 

Glenn Creek 

47PP2 

925 

71 

Long Lake 

33JJ1A 

1075 

27 

Colorado Creek 

46PP4 

750 

72 

Speel River 

33JJ3A 

275 

28 

Caribou Mine 

45PP2A 

1115 

73 

Crater Lake 

33JJ4a 

1750 

29 

Big Delta 

45PP1 

975 

74 

Wien Lake 

55PP1A 

1020 

30 

Tok Junction 

43001 

1650 

75 

Upper Chena 

44QQ3AP 

3000 

31 

Mentasta Pass 

43NN1 

2430 

76 

Wol f Creek 

44QQ4a 

3850 

32 

Mankomen Lake 

44NN1 

3050 

77 

Lake Todatonten 

52RRla 

985 

33 

Fielding Lake 

45001A 

3000 

78 

Ft. Greely 

45001 

1420 

34 

Haggard Creek 

45NN1A 

2540 

79 

Meadows Road 

45002 

1570 

35 

Monahan Flat 

47001A 

2710 

80 

Donnelly Dome 

45003 

2200 

36 

Clearwater Lake 

46NN1A 

3100 

81 

Granite Creek 

45004 

1235 

37 

Sanford River 

44NN2a 

2280 

82 

Bonanza Creek 

48PP1 

1150 

38 

Fog Lakes 

48NN1A 

2270 

83 

Dempsey Creek 

42QQ2a 

950 

39 

Oshetna Lake 

47NN1A 

2950 

84 

Douglas Ski Bowl 

34111 

1640 

40 

Little Nelchina 

47NN2a 

4160 

85 

Eagle Glacier 

49MM9 

4790 

41 

Lake Louise 

46NN2A 

2400 

86 

Wolverine Glacier #1 

48LL1 

2130 

42 

Lake Minchumina 

52001A 

730 

87 

Wolverine Glacier #2 

48LL2 

3610 

43 

Farewell Lake 

53NN1A 

1090 

88 

Wolverine Glacier #3 

48LL3 

4430 

44 

Chelatna Lake 

51NNla 

1650 

89 

Gulkana Glacier 

45002 

5500 

45 

Peters Hills 

50NNla 

2010 






Legend 

45TT1 Snow Course Only 

45TT1M Snow Course & Soil Moisture 

45TTIA Snow Course & Aerial Marker 

45TTla Aerial Marker Only 

45TT1P Snow Course & Precipitation Gage 


CL 

3 


Q 3 
— (J 
< — 
CL CL 
O 
CO < 
Ld 

UJ Ll 
L i- O 


Q H 
2 2 

< Ld 

Ld H 
CJ CL 

< < 
I- CL 
CO Ld 
O Q 
CL 


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llllllllllllllllllllllllllll 



Ld 




CL 




3 




1- 




3 




3 




CJ 


< 


— 

Ld 

d 


CL 

CJ 

CO 


o 

— 

< 


< 

> 

_J 



CL 

< 

CO 

u_ 

Ld 


CO 

o 

CO 

- 

Ld 



CL 

2 

1- 

2 

Ld 

— 

2 

O 


CO 

id 

— 

_l 

3 


h- 

< 

CD 

H 

< 

CL 


QC 

> 


_l 

< 

CL 


< 

CL 

Ld 

- 

— 

Ld 

CO 

Ll. 

U 

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2 


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X 

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CO 

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Ll. 

Ld 


CD 

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h- _J 
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3 


The Conservation of Water begi 
with the Snow Survey''''