Snowpack news

A picture named snowflakesbentley.jpg

Colorado’s statewide snowpack dipped to 99% of average this week. Here’s a report from Bob Berwyn writing for the Summit Daily News. From the article:

“It’s not encouraging. It’s definitely been a warm and dry month,” said Mike Gillespie, snow survey supervisor for the federal Natural Resources Soil Conservation Service. “There are definitely some increasing concerns on the Eastern Plains about drought-like conditions and emerging drought issues in some parts of the state,” Gillespie said. And things don’t appear to be getting better anytime soon. “The long-term forecast doesn’t bode well for accumulating more snowpack or maintaining what we have,” said local water commissioner Scott Hummer. Wednesday’s high temperature in Dillon was a relatively warm 49 degrees, and Hummer said those conditions are causing the snow to simply evaporate, rather than melting and running off into local streams. The 90-day outlook is for above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation, he added…

Snowpack in the Colorado River Basin is the highest in the state, at 105 percent of average. But in other parts of the state, levels have dropped to 20 percent below average…

Of special concern is the South Platte Basin, at 86 percent of normal as of March 19. Denver Water relies on the South Platte as one of its key supply sources…

But statewide reservoir levels remain in good shape, with plenty of storage, even under a dry scenario. With average precipitation through the spring, the water level in Dillon Reservoir is slowly dropping. On March 19, Denver water dropped the outflow to the Blue River to 50 cubic feet per second. At the same time, the water agency is taking 72 cfs through the Roberts Tunnel. Inflow to the reservoir is about 90 cfs.

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan: “Fort Collins has gotten little more than a half-inch of moisture this year, less than 40 percent what it typically has by now.”

Leave a Reply