Snowpack news: The northern Colorado plains are doing fairly well so far this winter season

snowpackcolorado01132012

Soil moisture is doing well with the abundance of upslope storms so far this winter. The snowpack chart on the right reflects only Snotel sites and was generated before the beautiful snow over the weekend.

Here’s a report about conditions on the plains from Eric Brown writing for The Greeley Tribune. From the article:

The 10-year average for snowfall in Greeley and the surrounding area is about 36 inches per year, and already this year, some parts of Weld County have received nearly 40 inches — a total of 39.4 inches of snow has been reported just outside of Greeley. Even the lowest snowfall amount on record in Weld County so far this winter — 22 inches in Fort Lupton — is more than what was recorded in all of last year…

Bruce Bosley — a crop systems specialist with Colorado State University Extension services, who serves all of northeastern Colorado — agreed that this year’s winter wheat is off to a much better start, but conditions locally haven’t been perfect. Early-on moisture was beneficial, but warm and windy weather since then might have been harmful in some fields, Bosley explained. Warm weather at this time of year can cause some wheat to break out of dormancy too early. Wheat is supposed to remain dormant through late February, and Bosley said he’s concerned that some of the area’s wheat has already emerged from its dormancy. Freezing conditions can cause serious damage to a crop that emerges from dormancy prematurely…

What Cooksey, Bosley and wheat farmers across the region are hoping for now is a cold and wet finish to the winter that will last through early spring…

“It’s really kind of a crapshoot right now,” [Scott Entrekin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder] said. “With a La Niña pattern like the one we have now, dry conditions are common. But that certainly hasn’t been the case around here, considering all of the snow we’ve seen.” On the other hand, snowpack in the mountains is well behind where it should be. It’s just been an interesting year so far.”

Leave a Reply