Snowpack news (% of normal): South Platte = 135% (still tops in state), Rio Grande = 82%, Upper Colorado = 125%

Statewide snow water equivalent as a percent of normal March 25, 2014 via the NRCS
Statewide snow water equivalent as a percent of normal March 25, 2014 via the NRCS

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Snow continues to pile up in the high country, even as plains remain parched. Snowfall over the weekend kept already high levels up in the central and northern mountains. While there is a chance of snow Thursday, the weekend is expected to be warm and sunny.

The snowpack has surpassed the median peak at sites in the Upper Arkansas Valley and at most sites in the Colorado River basin — anywhere from two weeks to a month ahead of schedule.

Statewide, the snowpack average is about 112 percent of median levels for this time of year, but it’s a tale of two weather patterns.

Northern areas have seen greater accumulations, while Southern Colorado has suffered.

The Rio Grande basin continues to lag the rest of the state at 82 percent, while the Arkansas River basin is at 98 percent.

That’s deceptive, however, since northerly areas in both basins are well above average, and the southern mountains remain relatively dry.

Forecasts for water brought into the Arkansas River basin from across the Continental Divide are about 30 percent above normal, but that assumes weather remains normal from here on out and that runoff occurs in a timely fashion.

Meanwhile, drought continues for most of the Arkansas River basin. Even though precipitation in Pueblo is normal, many parts of the Lower Arkansas Valley have not benefited from recent snows.

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for all of Southeastern Colorado from Canon City to Kansas and from northern El Paso County to New Mexico today.

Gusty winds and low humidity will accompany temperatures expected to reach the 70s.

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