Snowpack news

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From Steamboat Today (Tom Ross):

“We have a number of snow measuring sites in the northern part of the state that have more than 100 inches of snow,” [Chris Pacheco assistant snow survey supervisor with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Denver] said Friday. “The northern (river) basins are doing really well. We attribute much of that to La Niña.”[…]

He said the Yampa and White River basins’ snowpack, at 124 percent of average, is the highest March 1 snowpack since 1997, when the basin was measured at 142 percent of average. The Tower snowpack measuring site, just northeast of Steamboat Springs at 10,500 feet on Buffalo Pass, has some of the highest snowpack in the region. Pacheco’s agency is reporting that the snow depth on Buffalo Pass had settled down to 133 inches Friday from a high of 144 inches Feb. 26. When the Natural Resources Conservation Service uses the term “snowpack,” it’s really referring to the amount of water stored in the snow, and the 45.9 inches at the Tower site represents 120 percent of average for the date…

The prediction of 120 to 150 percent streamflows in the rivers in Northwest Colorado is a measurement of the total flow for a four- to five-month period in summer, and not an indication of peak flows, he explained. In Routt County, the Elk River snow measuring site close to Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area has a snow depth of 65 inches and the water content is just more than 21 inches, or 129 percent of average. At Crosho Lake, on the edge of the Flat Tops in South Routt, the snow is 51 inches deep and contains 14.6 inches of water. That is 138 percent of average.

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