Pacific Northwest water flows, which can influence summer energy supplies throughout the West, are likely to differ greatly between the northeasterly and southeasterly parts of the four-state and far western Canada region, according to the latest analysis from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC). Below-average steam flows can be expected in the Snake River basin and eastern Oregon in the southern part of the Columbia River Basin, but flows are expected to be near or just slightly below normal in the upper Columbia and main Columbia River this spring and summer. “The highest runoff forecast in the basin can be found in the upper Columbia in British Columbia,” NPCC Manager Jim Ruff told the NPCC board. He also concluded that with an only slightly below-normal snowpack as of April 1, it is likely there will be a good summer runoff at near-normal levels in the main Columbia River this spring-summer season. NPCC’s latest analysis follows the Northwest River Forecast Center predicting that river flows for the first seven months this year will be about 89% of normal, and the fact that they are that high is attributable to much higher-than-normal precipitation last fall (see Daily GPI, April 8).

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