Snowpack news: “We’re in a good mood” — Mike Preston

From the Cortez Journal (Jim Mimiaga):

Keep the snow shovels and skis handy. A spring snowstorm dumped 6 to 12 inches in the mountains, and from 3 to 6 inches at Cortez, Arriola, Dolores, Mancos and Mesa Verde National Park…

The recent storm stretched from Wyoming to Arizona and into California, and had a convection effect typical of spring precipitation.

“The convection element where the clouds bubble up produces the wet heavy snow,” Daniels said.

Telluride is reporting a fresh 8 inches from the storm, drifting to a foot in places. Durango Mountain Resort received 10 inches, and Rico is reporting 4 to 5 inches…

Southwest Colorado is still below normal snowpack, based on a 30-year average, according to the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

The Dolores, San Miguel, Animas, and San Juan basins collectively are reported at 83 percent of normal as of April 3. The Dolores Basin is at 87 percent of normal snowpack.

However, the Dolores Basin has dramatically improved from last year with snotels showing 12.6 inches of snow-water equivalent for April 3, compared with 9.6 inches of snow water equivalent this time last year.

Irrigators woke up with a smile across the region, as did reservoir managers.

“We’re in a good mood,” said Mike Preston, manager for the Dolores Water Conservancy District. “We are in the process of evaluating the impact of recent storms and will be updating farmers next week on predicted water supplies.”

From Steamboat Today (Kent Peppler):

As of the first week of April, the statewide average snowpack in Colorado is 113 percent. Only the southwestern watersheds are lagging behind. The Colorado River snowpack is at 125 percent. The South Platte is at 135 percent of average…

It is worth noting that Denver snowfall in March was 5.3 inches, just half of the average of 11.5 inches. Total snowfall so far in Denver is 31 inches compared to the average of the normal 47 inches for this time of the year.

We have a ways to go to restore the subsoil moisture underneath Colorado’s farmland. We have a ways to go, as well, to rebuild irrigation ditches and roads after last year’s floods.

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