Snowpack news

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From the Summit Daily News: “Based on the latest snowpack data, [Mike Gillespie, snow-survey supervisor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service] is predicting a good run-off season. ‘Statewide, we’re about 114 percent of average,’ he said. The highest reading comes from the Rio Grande Basin, at 128 percent of normal. Only the South Platte drainage is slightly below average, at 98 percent. The Colorado River Basin is at 118 percent of average, while the Blue River drainage, defining much of Summit County, is at 125 percent.”

From the Cortez Journal (Kristen Plank): “Total precipitation, or liquid equivalent, for February has reached 0.73 inches so far, with a normal liquid equivalent of 0.96 inches for the entire month. This puts February at 77 percent of normal, [Jim Andrus, regional weather observer for the National Weather Service] said, but light snow is forecast for the remainder of the week. January had 69 percent of average precipitation, Andrus said. In January 2008, total snowfall reached 275 percent of normal. February 2008 was 211 percent of normal. Snowfall of the season, beginning with the first flakes in November, has totaled 34.6 inches through February. December saw 22.1 inches of snow. ‘Last year we had almost 4 feet of snow for the whole season,’ Andrus said. ‘This season we’ve received almost 3 feet of snow so far.’

“Mike Preston, manager of the Dolores Water Conservancy District, said McPhee Reservoir is in good shape, especially with the recent snow. He said the reservoir was sitting at 119 percent of average at midnight Sunday but jumped to 128.5 percent as of midnight Tuesday. The reservoir is approximately 104,000 acre-feet below full, but based on the current snowpack, has a forecast inflow of 330,000 acre-feet based on the existing snowpack, Preston said.”

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