Snowpack news: Breckenridge reports 3rd snowiest January on record

Snow Water Equivalent as a percent of normal February 11, 2014 via the NRCS
Snow Water Equivalent as a percent of normal February 11, 2014 via the NRCS

From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

Last month really helped bolster the totals, as Breckenridge weather-watcher Rick Bly reported the third-snowiest January on record, dating back to the late 1800s. Bly tallied 60.5 inches at his weather station, where he tracks precipitation for the National Weather Service. According to Bly, only January 1899 (80.4 inches) and 1996 (71.8 inches) were snowier.

For the year to-date, Bly has already measured more than 10 feet of snow in Breckenridge — 128.4 inches, to be exact, making it the eighth snowiest on record. But there have been a couple of recent seasons with more snow through January, for exacmple 2005-2006, when 148.9 inches piled up through January, as well as 1983-1984, with 145.1 inches.
All that snow also bodes well for summer water supplies, with the year to-date snow-water equivalent at 8.72 inches, more than three inches above the average for the year to-date (5.81 inches).

And February snowfall is all but certain to surpass the average for the month, which is 23.5 inches. Bly said he was expecting to reach that total by Feb. 9, and there’s more moisture in the forecast for the coming week. But we have quite a way to go to break the all-time February record, set in 1893 with 84.5 inches.

Snowfall totals at the NWS observation site in Dillon were equally impressive for January, with a total snowfall of 43.5 inches, more than double the long-term average of 18.4 inches. The snowiest day of the month was Jan. 31, when the Dillon station picked up 16 inches of snow in a 24-hour period.

From The Pueblo Chieftain:

The Arkansas River basin is at 114 percent of the seasonal median. The Upper Colorado River basin, which provides supplemental water for the Arkansas Valley, is even better off, reporting snowpack at 121 percent. The Rio Grande basin, on the other hand, remains the driest in the state with just 82 percent of average.

Ski areas report some of the best snow totals they’ve experienced in some years. There’s a 100-inch base at Wolf Creek, 82-inch base at Monarch and 72-inch base at Ski Cooper.

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