Snowpack news: South Platte basin is at 85 percent of average, C-BT reservoirs storage sitting at 77 percent of average


From the Loveland Reporter-Herald (Pamela Dickman):

The basins that water officials watch for the Colorado-Big Thompson supply — the Upper Colorado and the Poudre basins — are running about 35 percent below average water content for the end of December. “It is really early, so there’s no beads of sweat on our foreheads yet,” said Dana Strongin, spokeswoman for Northern Water.

But the reservoirs holding water from the past two years are at 77 percent, which is high for this time of year, said Strongin…

Some are more full than others, adding up to the 77 percent. Horsetooth Reservoir is 72 percent filled. Carter Lake is at 55 percent because the level was lowered for maintenance. Lake Granby, the largest in the Colorado-Big Thompson system, is at 85 percent.

From the Associated Press (Dan Elliott) via the Vail Daily:

The snowpack statewide was 73 percent of the long-term average as of midweek. It ranges from 90 to 98 percent in the south and southeast parts of Colorado to just 63 percent in the northwest corner. The jet stream has been steering snow to the south of Colorado and cold weather to the north, despite La Nina conditions that would normally bring the storms over Colorado, said Kyle Fredin, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Boulder…

Klaus Wolter, a climatologist at the University of Colorado and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said Colorado won’t see a repeat of last season, which brought record snowfall to some parts of the mountains. The last four to six weeks have been dry, but Colorado has had five snowstorms since October, he said. “That’s a pretty good pace,” Wolter said. “I’ve seen bigger, but it’s pretty respectable.”

From the Summit Daily News (Caddie Nath):

“There’s a lot of snow season yet to go,” National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Kyle Fredin said. “That area has four solid months of snow coming up. The weather sometimes flips around, and I wouldn’t be surprised if (you’re) right back to near normal.”

Normal, for the end of December in Breckenridge, would be 64.4 inches of snow, but this season had produced a mere 32.7 inches from September through Wednesday…

So far this season, the mountains east of the Divide and even the Front Range have fared better than Summit County in terms of snowfall. Denver’s weather reporting station near Denver International Airport had seen 29.5 inches of snow as of Wednesday, ahead of its season-to-date average of 21 inches and on par with Breckenridge’s 32.7 inches thus far. Boulder, to the north of Denver and closer to the foothills, has had 53.4 inches so far this season, trouncing both Breckenridge’s year-to-date total and its own typical 28.4 inches this time of year.

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