Precipitation news: Aspen Mountain and Snowmass receive about eight inches of snow from the weekend storm

snowpackcolorado01072012

From The Aspen Times:

Aspen and Snowmass both picked up 8 inches of much-needed new snow Saturday and Saturday night, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Sunday morning snow report. Aspen Highlands saw 5 inches of fresh stuff while Buttermilk also gained 8 inches…

Around the state, most resorts reported fresh snow in the 5- to 8-inch range. Tiny Echo Mountain on the Front Range picked up 9 inches, as did Beaver Creek, but ski areas in southwest Colorado came up short this time. Wolf Creek reported 1 inch and Telluride had 4 inches. Durango reported no new snow. Elsewhere, Vail and Copper Mountain both reported 8 inches, Steamboat had 6 inches of fresh stuff, and Crested Butte and Powderhorn both reported 5 inches. Sunlight Mountain Resort near Glenwood Springs picked up 4 inches.

The closest Urban Drainage station to Gulch Manor is reporting sixteen hundredths of precipitation on the three day map.

From the Colorado Independent (David O. Williams):

“We have had some very unusual weather so far this season,” Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said Friday. “For the first time in 30 years, a lack of snow has not allowed us to open the back bowls in Vail as of January 6, 2012, and, for the first time since the late 1800s, it did not snow at all in Tahoe in December.”[…]

Ski industry woes aside, state water watchers and firefighters are nervously eyeing the miniscule mountain snowpack, which supplies so much of the water used by Front Range cities. As of Dec. 30, snowpack in the Colorado River basin was 44 percent of last year’s record level and just 63 percent of the annual average…

The last time Colorado’s high country was even close to this dry in mid-winter was during the 2001-02 ski season, which was followed by the worst wildfire season in the state’s history. June of 2002 saw the massive Hayman Fire scorch nearly 138,000 acres of land in the mountains southwest of Denver, darkening Front Range skies and loading key water storage facilities with debris from subsequent erosion.

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