Snowpack news: Yampa & White basins are at 59% of average, Arkansas basin still on top — 85%

snowpackcolorado02072012

From The Denver Post:

According to the National Resources Conservation Service Feb. 1 report, snowpack statewide was 72 percent of average and 62 percent of the reading taken Feb. 1, 2011. State conservationist Phyllis Phillips said the Pacific jet stream has shifted south and by the middle of January was delivering much needed precipitation to southern Wyoming and northern and central Colorado…

The Arkansas basin was at 81 percent of average on Feb. 1, down from 94 percent at the beginning of January. The greatest decrease was measured in the Upper Rio Grande basin where snowpack was down 15 percentage points from Jan. 1 to 77 percent of average.

January storms boosted the snowpack in west central Colorado. As of Feb. 1, both the Gunnison and Colorado basins snowpack percentages increased by 9 percentage points from where they were on Jan. 1. The Yampa, White, and North Platte basins did not gain much during these storms. The basins are reporting nearly the same snowpack percentage as last month: 65 percent of average as of Feb. 1…

The South Platte basin, which provides much of the water to the Front Range and eastern plains, was at 80 percent of average and 66 percent of last year. The Colorado was at 69 percent of average and 51 percent of the snowpack logged this time last year.

From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

The low readings were most evident in the Yampa and White river basins, where the combined snowpack was only 60 percent of average. Forecasts for spring and summer water supplies in these basins reflect the below average snowpack. Reservoir storage across the state continues to remain in good condition which should help ease potential shortages this season.

The Pacific jet stream did start to shift southward in January,passing over southern Wyoming and northern and central Colorado by mid-month and bringing much needed precipitation to basins west of the Continental Divide.

The pattern reversed from earlier in the season, with basins east of the Divide reporting little snowfall during this period. The most recent storm in early February did help boost snowpack in the Arkansas and South Platte basins to more than 80 percent of average,.

With typical La Nina precipitation and snowfall patterns returning to Colorado in January, the southern and southeastern basins saw significant decreases in their snowpack’s after a stellar start to the season.

The Arkansas basin was at 81 percent of average on February 1 down from 94 percent at the beginning of January. The greatest decrease was measured in the Upper Rio Grande basin, where the snowpack dropped 15 percent from the Jan. 1 reading.

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