Snow Course for Water Professionals class recap

SNOTEL Site via the Natural Resources Conservation Service
SNOTEL Site via the Natural Resources Conservation Service

From the Colorado Water Congress:

For many water professionals, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities of our jobs. Let us not forget the origin of Colorado’s most crucial natural resource. 80% of Colorado surface water supplies come from snowpack- but what does that mean exactly? How is snowpack measured and what effect does that have on water resource management?

From February 12-14, myself [Fiona Smith] and five others, attended the “Snow Course for Water Professionals” hosted by the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies (CSAS). The class was held at the CSAS office on the main street of Silverton, CO. Packed with six attendees, Chris Landry (Executive Director) and Kim Buck (Data and Admin), we settled into our chairs and began the first of three morning lectures. Landry provided a basic overview of global climate patterns and their effect on Colorado’s climate predictions. With the Pineapple Express in mind and coffee in our bellies, we absorbed equations related to snowmelt energy budget, examined snowmelt metamorphism, and learned about the hideous effect of dust on our snowpack; we discussed albedo, snow water equivalent, and how to choose a deep powder line in the backcountry.

Be sure to click through and read the whole blog post.

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