Snowpack news: Big storm hits the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountains, the South Platte basin is up to 82% of average


It looks like there is about three inches of new snow here at Gulch Manor. Eldora ski area is reporting five inches of new snow this morning and Telluride is reporting eleven inches in the past 24 hours.

Here’s a report from Matt Hildner writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

A storm that moved into the San Juan Mountains on Sunday had dropped 1.5 feet of snow by midday Monday. Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 18 inches of snow from the storm by 2 p.m… Snow falling on the valley floor Monday was much lighter with an inch reported near Crestone and less than half an inch near Del Norte and Alamosa.

From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (Janet Urquhart):

The snowpack in the Roaring Fork River basin stood at 56 percent of average at the close of December, based on data dating back to 1971. As of Monday, the average for the basin was a far more respectable 72 percent, though it will take considerably more snow for the remainder of the winter and spring to bring conditions back to normal, according to Mage Skordahl, assistant snow survey supervisor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Denver. “The thing is, when you start out that low, you have to have above-average conditions for a long period of time to catch back up,” she said. “Historically, it has happened before. I wouldn’t discount spring storms.”[…]

January brought improvement with a change in the weather pattern and the first real powder days of the season. Snowmass picked up 50 inches of snow up top during the month, which is 11 percent above average, according to Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle. Snowfall at Buttermilk was 9 percent above average for the month, while Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands saw about 90 percent of their average snowfall for January, he said…

According to the service’s SNOTEL data at sites around the Roaring Fork basin, the snowpack — actually a measurement of the water equivalent of the snow — was at 64 percent of average on Independence Pass, east of Aspen, on Monday. It was at 72 percent on McClure Pass, south of Carbondale, and at 73 percent at Nast Lake in the upper Fryingpan Valley. The depth of the snow at the Independence Pass site stood at 34 inches on Jan. 26, according to the NRCS.

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