La Niña/snowpack update

A picture named usdroughtmonitor12012010

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Chances of snow [for Pueblo County and the Arkansas Valley] are 10 percent to 40 percent Wednesday through Friday, but the 10-day forecast is calling for below normal precipitation…

Most of the storms that have moved through the country for the last four months have missed Pueblo as a strong La Nina — cooling of the Pacific Ocean — continues. Storms tend to move further north, as last weekend’s pounding of the Midwest illustrates.

Snowpack in the mountains is spotty as well. North of Leadville, more than 3 feet of snow remains at Fremont Pass, according to Natural Resources Conservation Service Snotel tracking. But elsewhere in the Arkansas River basin, snow is sparse. At St. Elmo, southwest of Buena Vista, about 17 inches were reported Monday. Further south and east, the snow pack thins out. On Pikes Peak, where traces of white can be seen, only about 2 inches is measured at the NRCS site. At Hayden Pass near Villa Grove, only 1 inch was reported. Cooper and Monarch ski areas both reported a base of 34 inches with 7 inches of new snow over the weekend, while Wolf Creek Pass only has a 27-inch base with no new snow. The Arkansas River basin is at 76 percent of normal for snowpack, as measured by snow water equivalent, while the Rio Grande basin was at 54 percent as of Monday.

From The Denver Post (Kieran Nicholson):

While winter weather has a firm grip on the northern and central Colorado mountains, Denver and the Front Range remain mild and dry, a pattern unlikely to change in a hurry. Several Colorado ski resorts are boasting of early-season bases already measuring 40 inches and deeper, but Denver has seen just a “trace” amount of precipitation for the month of December so far…

“This pattern doesn’t change too much over the next 10 days,” said Bernie Meier, a meteorologist and spokesman with the National Weather Service in Boulder.Denver and the Front Range may get “a little light precipitation here and there, but nothing significant.”

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