Snowpack news: “It’s across the board pretty bare…And it’s more than just western Wyoming” — Bob Comey

Upper Colorado River Basin October 2014 precipitation as a percent of normal via the Colorado Climate Center
Upper Colorado River Basin October 2014 precipitation as a percent of normal via the Colorado Climate Center

From WyoFile (Kelsey Dayton):

On Nov. 6, Bob Comey, director of the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center, checked the center’s forecasting cameras and monitors making sure they were ready to go, while scouting the snow in the area.

The ground was clear on aspects below 9,000 feet and on sunny landscapes above 9,000 feet. Only a couple of inches of snow has accumulated on north faces at the high elevations.

“It’s across the board pretty bare,” he said. “And it’s more than just western Wyoming.”

Comey noted that few forecasters across the region were reporting much snow as of the first week of November.

The center starts its daily forecasts once there’s enough snow to warrant worry about avalanches, although it does provide weekly snowpack summaries. In the last 14 years, the latest it’s ever started forecasting was Nov. 17 — that was in 2008. It’s begun regular forecasts as early as Oct. 25 in 2010. As of Nov. 6, Comey wasn’t sure when the center would need to start forecasting this year, but thought it could be a while. There wasn’t much snow predicted for northern Wyoming in the next 10 days.

“But that can always change quickly,” he said. “A week of steady snowfall could change the whole story.”

Parts of Wyoming did experience early season storms that were then followed by warm spells melting most of the snow other than that on the very high north-facing mountainsides, Comey said…

“Everyone should want snow,” [Jim] Woodmencey said. “More snow means more water for the rest of the year.”

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