Snowpack news: The weekend storm will help with the wildfire outlook, five to 10 inches of new snow on the ground in the northern and central mountains

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Click on the thumbnail graphic to the right for Friday’s statewide high/low snow water equivalent graph from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Note that the statewide snowpack is tracking very closely to 2002 with a slight positive jog since the start of April. The weekend snowfall is not represented.

From The Denver Post (Tom McGhee):

A Pacific storm that began Saturday night dumped 5 to 10 inches in the northern and central mountain areas and was expected to leave another inch or so before ending after midnight Sunday…

There was scarcely any precipitation in March, and it was the Front Range’s driest March in 124 years of records, according to the Colorado Climate Center…

Snowpack conditions around the upper Colorado River basin were well below normal as a result of lower-than-average seasonal accumulations and earlier snowmelt than normal, according to an April 10 report on conditions by the Climate Center.

From the Examiner (Regan Dickinson):

So, by the time this is completely over, probably tomorrow morning, those three-day totals may end up somewhere in the 12-inch to 18-inch range.

From the Vail Daily (Lauren Glendenning):

Skier visit numbers through Jan. 2, compared with the same time period in 2010-11, showed a 15.3 percent drop across Vail Resorts’ six mountain resorts in Colorado and Lake Tahoe. At the time, CEO Rob Katz called the weather up until that point in the season “very unusual.” “For the first time in 30 years, a lack of snow has not allowed us to open the Back Bowls in Vail as of Jan. 6 2012, and for the first time since the late 1800s, it did not snow at all in Tahoe in December,” Katz said in a statement…

The snowpack in the Colorado River Basin, Eagle County’s river basin, started February at 69 percent of average and finished off the month at about 75 percent of average. The percentage is the snow-water equivalent, or the amount of water in the snowpack, so it doesn’t necessarily reflect snow depth.

Bob Berwyn has chronicled Colorado snowfall over the years at the Summit County Citizens Voice.

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