Snowpack news: Colorado River basin is at 59% of average, San Juan, Dolores and San Miguel basins come in at 67% of average

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From Think Progress Green (Amanda Peterson Beadle):

Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company, points out that the NASA global temperature anomaly maps show that December just keeps getting warmer, which creates the extreme swings. “It’s key to remember that warming might actually bring bigger storms to the Rockies due to there being more moisture in the air,” Schendler said. “At the same time, because the atmosphere can hold more water, it can suck the land dry of more water than before.”

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Dennis Webb):

As of this morning [January 9], the Upper Colorado River Basin snowpack was just 59 percent of average. Portions of the basin had seen little recent snow until a storm that arrived on Saturday. The Gunnison River Basin also is at 59 percent, and the Yampa/White River is at 58 percent. Other readings include the San Juan, Animas, Dolores, and San Miguel basins, 67 percent; Arkansas basin, 83 percent; Upper Rio Grande, 86 percent; Laramie and North Platte, 64 percent; and South Platte, 76 percent.

From the Vail Daily (Jaymee Squires):

If you’ve looked at weather maps lately, you have probably noticed the dramatic shape of the jet stream as it takes weather from the Pacific Northwest and blows it north towards Canada. This leaves most of Colorado in a high pressure area, where the warm air sustains itself with the Colorado sun and deflects incoming storms. The jet stream then takes a southward dip somewhere in the Midwest, taking our much-needed moisture towards the northeast, where they just plow it into piles and wait for spring. Since most of our snow typically comes from the Pacific Northwest, it’s not likely we’ll see any of that moisture until the jet stream changes its path.

From the Vail Daily (Lauren Glendenning):

Eddie Box Jr. and his wife, Betty, of the Southern Ute Indian tribe, came to Vail Mountain [ed. last Saturday] to do a traditional prayer ritual for snow for the third time in the resort’s 49-year history. Box was first there in 1962, the resort’s inaugural year, as a teenager joining his father, Eddie Box Sr…

As people gathered around and formed a circle around the Box family and other tribe members, they looked on as the Utes performed the sacred ritual. First there was a slow waltz in a circle, followed by chants, drums and then a group dance. People all around could be heard saying “snow.” The snow got thicker and started coming down heavier. Sutner said the Utes are 3-for-3 in Vail — the snow fell consistently the first two times they did the ritual, and Saturday’s beginning was a good start. “It’s not so much about a snow dance, but it’s about honoring our rich history with the Southern Utes,” Sutner said.

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