Significant snowfall expected for the northwest mountains as a new storm moves in tonight #COwx #COdrought

From the National Weather Service Grand Junction office:

As one weather system departs the region this morning, another storm system arrives late tonight. This storm system has the potential to produce significant snow over the Colorado northwestern mountains from midnight tonight through Wednesday. Heavy wet snow is possible with accumulations of 15 to 25 inches with upwards to 30 inches. Elsewhere, mountain snow with valley rain showers are expected on Monday (except mostly dry far south). Very windy conditions will develop on Tuesday with intermittent showers. Much colder conditions are forecast on Wednesday with mountain snow showers likely.

Drought/snowpack news: Many eyes are on the current drought #COdrought #COwx

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Pueblo Board of Water Works will discuss two drought-related issues Tuesday at its monthly board meeting. Former City Councilman Ray Aguilera will talk to the board about his concerns for Lake Minnequa. “We’re paying more in stormwater fees for the pipeline into Lake Minnequa,” Aguilera said. “Can’t we find a way to get more water into it?” Aguilera pushed for creation of a city park, using state lottery funds to help develop it.

The water board is constructing a $1 million pipeline into the lake from St. Charles reservoirs at Stem Beach. The city is repaying the water board through stormwater fees. However, the agreement among the city, the water board and the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District does not require the water board to fill the lake. Water from the Lower Ark is supposed to pass through the lake, but during the drought of the past three years, the lake level has dropped below the discharge pipe that returns water to the Arkansas River.

The water board will also look at its drought policy on Tuesday. A proposal for a new policy would look at achieving targeted water use by up to 50 percent by limiting outdoor watering. Four stages are outlined in the new plan. They range from encouraging wise use, but not limiting outdoor water use; two-day weekly watering that saves 15 percent; one-day weekly watering that saves 30 percent; and no outdoor watering that saves 50 percent. So far, there are no restrictions on Pueblo watering.

Snowpack is at about two-thirds of average in the Arkansas River and Colorado River basins, which supply Pueblo’s water. Streamflows for the year are estimated to be about half of average, which should keep Pueblo’s senior water rights in priority. However, the water board could look at restrictions if, as in 2002, more senior ditch rights call out Pueblo’s rights.

From the National Weather Service Grand Junction office:

THE FOLLOWING ARE PRELIMINARY SNOW REPORTS, AS ESTIMATED BASED ON READINGS FROM REMOTE INSTRUMENTATION SCATTERED THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS OF EASTERN UTAH AND WESTERN COLORADO. THE SNOW FELL DURING THE 24 HOURS ENDING AT 5 AM SUNDAY MORNING.

IN WESTERN COLORADO,
THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS, 6 TO 12 INCHES.
THE CENTRAL MOUNTAINS, 6 TO 12INCHES
THE SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS, 2 TO 6 INCHES.

IN EASTERN UTAH,
THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS, 2 TO 5 INCHES.
THE CENTRAL MOUNTAINS, 2 TO 5 INCHES.
THE SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS, UP TO 2 INCHES.

From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

Mother Nature saved her best for late in the season, as a mid-April storm dropped more than 12 inches of snow across the Colorado mountains, as well as some beneficial rain along the Front Range.

The potent storm blew in on the nose of the jet stream, with a strong and moist northwest flow blasting through the mountains Saturday night. Many areas reported their biggest single-storm snow totals for the entire season, including downtown Frisco, where 7 inches piled up overnight.

Severe Weather Awareness Week For Colorado 4-14-13 to 4-20-13 #COwx

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Click here to read the proclamation from Governor Hickenlooper:

Here’s the release from the National Weather Service Grand Junction Office:

The National Weather Service wants everyone to be part of a Weather-Ready Nation. (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/)

Colorado is an annual host for tornadoes…flash floods…hail…killer lightning…and wind damage. Are you “weather ready”…do you know how to stay safe when severe weather threatens? Governor Hickenlooper has proclaimed this week…April 14th to April 20th as Colorado Severe Weather Awareness Week. Now is the time to learn more about severe weather in Colorado and develop severe weather preparedness plans.

Each year for the past 20 years there have been an average of 50 tornadoes in Colorado…3 people killed by lightning…and another 13 injured by lightning.

The National Weather Service offices which cover Colorado will issue a series of public information statements during the week covering the following topics…

…on Sunday…………Introduction
…on Monday………Watches and Warnings
…on Tuesday……..Tornadoes and Tornado Safety
…on Wednesday….Flood and Flash Flood Safety
…on Thursday…….Downburst Wind and Hail
…on Friday…………Lightning and Lightning Safety
…on Saturday………Severe Weather Awareness Week in Review

Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service for a variety of thunderstorm hazards. Make sure you have a way to receive warnings. If you live in a community with a siren…understand the protocol for sounding those sirens. If you have a relatively new cell phone you will receive tornado and flash flood warnings on your phone if you are in the area of the warning. NOAA All Hazards Weather Radios are a great resource for monitoring the weather and receiving warnings…and they can be found at most hardware or electronics stores.

Safety information…watches…warnings…forecasts…past weather and much more information is available at your local National Weather Service web sites…

WWW.WEATHER.GOV/BOU NWS DENVER
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/PUB NWS PUEBLO
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/GLD NWS GOODLAND
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/GJT NWS GRAND JUNCTION

Denver: USFS to hold a series of public meetings after NSAA lawsuit victory last December

From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

Now, the agency will hold a series of public meetings, starting April 16 in Denver, to take input from the public and key stakeholders. Additional meetings are set for Salt Lake City on April 17, and Lake Tahoe, Calif., on April 18.

Forest Service leaders and technical experts from Washington, D.C., as well as from local and regional offices will be on-hand to take public comments and provide additional information on the water rights issue.

At issue is very specific language in ski area and other special-use permits that establishes the ownership and future uses of water that flows off public lands. The key for the Forest Service is to ensure that the water rights from water that comes from national forest system lands continue to stay with the permitted special use.

The ski industry and the agency have been at odds over the water rights directive for several years but say they are committed to a collaborative approach based on a long history of partnership. “Some resorts have water rights in their name, some are held in the name of the U.S. Going forward, we need a more cogent way of addressing this,” Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Daniel Jiron said in a January interview with Summit Voice.

“Our long-term policy objective is to make sure that ski areas and communities can depend on that water … The Forest Service must provide the resources to do that,” Jiron said. “We support the ski industry … I believe it’s an important part of our mission. We know that the current group of ski resort owners and operators are committed to their resorts and Colorado, but we have to plan ahead decades to protect public resources,” Jiron said.

More NSAA coverage here.

HJR13-1004 supports the NSAA’s position regarding water rights associated with ski areas #COleg

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From the Craig Daily Press:

A Sen. Randy Baumgardner-sponsored water rights measure unanimously passed out of the Colorado Senate Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee on Thursday. House Joint Resolution 13-1004 calls on the U.S. Forest Service to rescind a 2012 directive that stipulates water rights revert to the federal government upon termination of a special-use permit.

More 2013 Colorado legislation coverage here.

Good rain south and central Denver #COwx #COdrought

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Precipitation of .20 to .30 over the south metro area and central and east Denver, up to Brighton preceded a spike at the South Platte at Denver gage overnight. Click here for a crop of the 24 hour precipitation map from the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District. Click here for the South Platte at Denver hydrograph from the Colorado Division of Water Resources. The spike is due to the inflows to the main stem from urban stormwater.

More stormwater coverage here and here.