Snowpack/precipitation/runoff news: A beautiful rain/snow for the northern Colorado plains

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From The Denver Post (Kieran Nicholson):

More than a foot of snow fell in some parts of the mountains and areas in the foothills received several inches of snow as well, said David Barjenbruch, a meteorologist and spokesman with the National Weather Service in Boulder. “The north got lots of great water equivalent that will help minimize fire dangers, at least over the next several days,” Barjenbruch said…

Aspen Springs, in Gilpin County, received 19 inches of snow and areas around Nederland, in Boulder County, received up to 16 inches of snow. Closer to Denver, the Evergreen and Conifer areas, in Jefferson County, received between 4 to 6 inches of snow and Boulder got about 2.5 inches.

From The Telluride Watch (Gus Jarvis):

According to the most recent snowpack percentages provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan watersheds, as a group, are currently at 88 percent of average, while the Upper Rio Grande is at 79 percent. And these two watershed groups are the only two in Colorado reporting average levels of below 100 percent. Statewide the snowpack level is 114 percent of average, with the highest snowpack levels found in the Yampa/White (133 percent of average) and North Platte (138 percent of average) watersheds in northwestern Colorado…

For rivers relying on reservoir storage, Lang said, the data corresponds (to snowpack averages), with reservoir levels statewide at 103 percent of average, and the San Miguel, Dolores and Animas watershed reservoir storage average coming in at 82 percent.

For boaters seeking a trip on the Dolores River below McPhee Reservoir, indications are there will be a release sometime in May, but precisely when is unclear. According to an updated press release issued on April 12 by the Dolores Water Conservation District, the release of 800 Cubic Feet per Second (CFS) intended for Memorial Day weekend is now expected to come May 20.

From The Crested Butte News (Alissa Johnson):

…the Gunnison Basin’s snowpack sits at 115 percent of average, according to Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) snow survey supervisor Mike Gillespie. Snowpack has been declining each month since January, when it sat at 158 percent of average…

“We’re forecasting above-average runoff across the northern part of Gunnison Basin, and that is a favorable condition for all water users. Water rights will be met, people won’t be curtailed from receiving water rights, that kind of thing,” Gillespie said. The same north to south transition visible across the state is mirrored in Gunnison Basin. The inflow into Paonia Reservoir is at 131 percent of average, and to the south, Uncompahgre is at 94 percent. Blue Mesa sits right in the middle, at 111 percent of average.

From Steamboat Today (Joel Reichenberger):

The Yampa River has slipped above 700 cubic feet per second twice in the last week, and Wednesday afternoon it was pushing above 650. That’s higher than the April 13 average for the last 100 years by more than 100 cfs, but still less than one-third of what the river runs at in late May and early June. “All the preliminary indicators are that it’s going to be a good season,” said Pete Van De Carr, owner of Backdoor Sports in Steamboat. “We’re psyched.”

From the Longmont Times-Call:

Total rain/snow precipitation amounted to 1 inch…Times-Call weather consultant Dave Larison said the storm brought the most single-storm precipitation since 1.53 inches fell from heavy rains on Jun. 11-13, 2010. Longmont’s year-to-date precipitation is now up to 2.35 inches, still about a half inch below normal to date.

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