The Green River is the largest tributary of the Colorado River. Given that snowpack is the primary driver of streamflow, information on the long-term regional snowpack (regionalized April 1 Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)) variability would provide useful information for water managers and planners. Previous research efforts were unable to develop skillful SWE reconstructions using tree-ring chronologies in the Upper Green River Basin (UGRB) of Wyoming because of limited tree-ring chronologies in the area. The current research uses Principal Components Analysis to regionalize April 1 snowpack data in the UGRB. Recent research efforts developed six new tree-ring chronologies in and adjacent to the UGRB. These new chronologies, along with 38 existing chronologies, were correlated with the regionalized SWE data. Chronologies positively correlated at a 95% confidence level or higher were retained. Stepwise linear regressions were performed and a reconstruction of UGRB regional April 1 SWE was achieved (R2 = 0.21). Climate signals (Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Southern Oscillation Index (SOI)) were introduced to the predictor variables and an additional regression was performed. Inclusion of the SOI resulted in a statistically skillful reconstruction (R2 = 0.58). Temporal drought periods for SWE and for streamflow were examined for the UGRB and a direct relationship was observed.
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Vol. 68 • No. 2