Columbia River flows from April through September at The Dalles Dam on the border between Washington and Oregon likely will be 103% of normal, the Northwest River Forecast Center said.
The Dalles water supply outlook has risen seven percentage points since the start of January, the forecast center said in its latest Ensemble Streamflow Prediction Report. The flow outlook is also higher than where it was at this time last year, when it was around 91% of normal.
However, last year saw precipitation levels pick up in late February and remained strong through rest of winter into early spring. By late March 2017, the outlook was around 120% of normal.
Flows at The Dalles for the 2017-2018 water years are ranked at 29, compared looking at to historical data from 1960-2018.
Flows for the 2016-2017 water season ranked 12 with flows at 123% of normal.
Looking at forward power prices, Mid-Columbia on-peak second quarter packages are currently valued near $16.75/MWh, according to Platts M2MS data, which is down about $2 since the start of the year.
At this time last year, Mid-C on-peak Q2 2017 packages were around $20.25/MWh, but then moved down to be near $13/MWh near the end of February as water supplies improved.
By the end of March, Mid-C on-peak Q2 2017 was near $11/MWh.
ESP forecasts compare historical and current data and run the information through model scenarios to project what water supplies could look like. Power market participants closely watch the reports as an indication of upcoming water supplies for hydroelectric generation in the Pacific Northwest.
Source: Hellenic Shipping News.