Colorado snow is deep and plentiful to start the year — Denver Business Journal

Westwide SNOTEL snow water equivalent as a percent of normal January 8, 2015
Westwide SNOTEL snow water equivalent as a percent of normal January 8, 2015

From The Durango Herald (Dale Rodebaugh):

“As we began the new water year, it looked like summer might never end, given the unseasonably warm temperatures and nearly nonexistent precipitation through October,” the NRCS said. “Thankfully, November brought cooler temperatures and snow to the mountains across the state.”

But the combined San Juan, Animas, San Miguel and Dolores drainage is hurting with just 75 percent of the median snowpack.

Only the Upper Rio Grande is in a worse position – 71 percent of the median.

If the southern basins don’t get more precipitation in the next few months, they may be looking at their fifth consecutive year of below-normal snowpack and seasonal runoff, the NRCS said.

All the other basins are reveling in above-average snowpack, the report said. They range from 101 to 114 percent of the Jan. 1 median. The only exception is the Gunnison basin, which stood at 99 percent of the median.

Reservoir levels statewide also are looking good, with a combined 103 percent of average storage.

But Upper Rio Grande reservoirs were at 67 percent of average storage, and the average for the San Juan, Animas, Dolores and San Miguel basins was 90 percent, an improvement over the 83 percent Jan. 1, 2014.

South Platte reservoirs had the highest average storage – 124 percent.

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