Snowpack/runoff news: The Rotary Club of Summit County’s Ice Melt Contest ends on the earliest date ever, previous record set in drought year of 2002

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From the Summit Daily (Caddie Nath):

It was the earliest ending to the Rotary Club of Summit County’s Ice Melt Contest — a fundraiser which allows the community to bet on the date and time the clock will fall as the lake melts — in the history of the event. Last year, the clock stayed above water until May 23. The thawing of the reservoir, carefully tracked by Denver Water, and the clock’s plunge through the ice, are normally May events. Since 1965, the earliest the lake had ever been declared free of ice was April 28 in 2002, a significant drought year for Colorado. This year, Dillon Reservoir is an alarming two weeks ahead of even 2002.

“We’re moving into the edges of some drought conditions,” National Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Fredin. “Probably not like we saw in 2000 and 2001, but on the dry side.”

The Upper Colorado River Basin, which includes Summit County, has received only 65-70 percent of its normal snowfall this season. The melting snowpack has been reduced to 35-60 percent of average for the time of year.

From the Sky-Hi Daily News (Jack Bakken):

Ice break-up on Lake Granby happened on Thursday, April 12, the earliest ice free day in the 21st century. And Northern Water Conservancy District officials say they could see no ice between the Farr Pumping Plant and Granby Dam on April 10, the earliest day shown in the records during the Plant’s history. The last remnants of ice were on Arapahoe Bay at the east end of the lake until Thursday morning. Most of the lake was free of ice by Monday afternoon, April 9.

From the Tri-Lakes Tribune (Norma Engelberg):

“The reservoirs are full,” [Palmer Lake Water Trustee Max Stafford] said “We’re done working on the water treatment plant and we completed the dredging at the lower reservoir and most of the cleanup last year. There’s still a little cleanup left to do and, of course, we’ll always be working on infrastructure. The town’s water system is old and there are always maintenance, repairs and upgrades.”

From The Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

A heavy, wet snow Tuesday [April 3] blanketed the two towns with about a foot of the white stuff, with two-feet or more reported elsewhere in Custer County. The snow began falling shortly after 5 a.m. on April 3, and continued throughout most of the day. The snowstorm was good news to ranchers as it raised the snowpack equivalent at the South Colony SNOTEL site in the Arkansas River Basin to 74 percent of average with a snow/water equivalent of 13.6 inches.

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