Snowpack news

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Statewide, the snowpack reached 123 percent of average as the most recent round of storms moved through. That’s a slight improvement from the end of January, a dry month that saw a drop in snowpack. The Arkansas River basin climbed above average in snowpack, although the Lower Ark Valley is entering its third month of severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Meanwhile, the Rio Grande basin remains the driest area of the state, with snowpack at 87 percent. Snow levels increase toward the northern part of the state, with most ski areas reporting 5-8 feet of snow — some are boasting 24 inches of new snow in 72 hours. Some Snotel sites showed levels of well over 100 inches in the northern mountains. In the Roaring Fork basin, which provides supplemental water imports for the Arkansas River, snow levels are at 133 percent of average…

Snowpack in the Upper Arkansas basin is at about 70-90 percent of peak levels (the depth typically reached in mid-April), while it remains at 40-70 percent in the southern mountains, said Pat Edelmann of the Pueblo office of the U.S. Geological Survey.

More coverage from The Pueblo Chieftain:

Snowfall hit the San Juan Mountains hard. Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 23 inches of snow from the storm. In the Sangre de Cristo foothills, spotters for the National Weather Service reported over 10 inches near Crestone and 8.5 inches southeast of Fort Garland.

More coverage from The Colorado Springs Gazette (Matt Steiner):

Through this week, Colorado Springs had received 0.26 inches of precipitation, barely a third of the 0.77 inches it normally gets by early February, said Kyle Mozley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo…

Usually, it takes 10 inches of snowfall to equal an inch of precipitation, but not when the temperature is below zero like it was last week and in the single digits like Tuesday. “When you get these cold temperatures like we’ve seen, it takes 20 to 30 inches of snow to get one inch of precipitation,” Mozley said…

The snowpack is above average after a series of blizzards on the Western Slope and the snowiest months — March and April — are still ahead. “There’s no reason to be concerned,” Mozley said.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service reports about 120 to 130 percent of normal snowpack in the mountains, which has kept reservoirs almost full. “We’ve had really, really good reservoir levels,” said Patrice Quintero, a Colorado Springs Utilities spokeswoman. “It’s looking like it normally does for this time of year.”

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