The Rio Grande Water Conservancy District ponies up $5,000 for the study of the effects of ‘Dust on snow’ events


Click on the thumbnail graphic to the right for a satellite (MODIS) view of the April 29, 2009 dust storm over the Four Corners. Here’s a report from Ruth Heide writing for the Valley Courier. From the article:

[Chris Landry with the Center for Snow & Avalanche Studies] recorded 11-12 events last year, the last of which was perhaps the largest of the year. He said last winter was also extremely windy, with more than 100,000 miles of wind passing by the center’s sensor over the course of the winter. Landry explained to the water board that one source area responsible for Colorado’s dusty snow is a vast dry lake bed lacking vegetation on a reservation in Arizona.

He added that the Rio Grande Basin may be most affected by dust on snow events because this basin has less snow cover than other basins in the state. The water district board voted to support Landry’s studies with $5,000.

Colorado Division of Water Resources Division Engineer for Division III Craig Cotten said this is a new tool in helping determine runoff forecasts, and although it is not part of the formula used to develop the annual forecasts it is a beneficial tool.

More Rio Grande River basin coverage here.

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