Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Heron Lake Marina advisory

The marina at Heron Lake in far northern New Mexico is operated by the New Mexico Sailing Club and sits at an elevation of about 7,100 feet above mean sea level.

As of late Monday, March 14, 2011, the marina and surrounding cove were in perhaps about two inches of ice. A small ice-free opening about 30 feet in diameter is a hundred feet west of the marina. About a third of the way down the Narrows the lake becomes ice-free. Willow Creek a mile or so above the marina is also generally ice free and the ground near the marina has snow only in the shadiest areas.

Snowpack and resulting runoff for Heron Lake may be something like 80% of average or a bit better but this could change up or down. Much of Colorado has above-average snowpack but the upper Rio Grande basin is a bit below average. New Mexico's snowpack is below average, getting much worse in the south.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican on March 4th, central and southern New Mexico's lakes will take a hit: "The Rio Grande is predicted to flow at 63 percent of normal into Cochiti Lake and at just above half the usual flow into Elephant Butte Lake. Inflow to Santa Rosa Lake is predicted at 36 percent of normal, while the Navajo Reservoir will fare better with inflows at 83 percent of normal. The Rio Pueblo de Taos is expected to flow at 30 percent of normal."

Heron Lake pictures to follow!


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