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Streamflow scenarios

The following scenarios show how different weather conditions affect the headwaters and streamflow of Sabino Creek. Compare the differences in temperature, precipitation, and flow rates.


DROUGHT

During periods of drought, lack of precipitation causes streamflow to cease, and Sabino Creek becomes a dry riverbed.




FLASH FLOODS

During flash floods, rain in higher elevations causes sudden, dramatic increases in streamflow.


In a matter of minutes, Sabino Creek can go from a trickle to a raging torrent of 25 to 10,000 cubic feet per second or more.




MONSOON RAINS

Summer monsoon rains cause Sabino Creek's flow to fluctuate dramatically. The monsoon generally runs from July through September. During this period, convective heating and increased atmospheric moisture cause thunderstorms to build in the afternoon and evening. Streamflow in Sabino Creek fluctuates with the intensity, location, and duration of these storms.




WINTER SNOWMELT

In winter, snow falling in upper elevations of the Santa Catalinas accumulates, creating a snow pack.


As winter ends and the days begin to warm, the snow pack melts, increasing the flow in Sabino Creek.
The flow continues through the spring season until the snow pack is gone.


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