Snowpack news: Colorado Snowpack Struggles As #Drought More Than Doubles Since Christmas — CBS Denver

Westwide SNOTEL snow water equivalent as a percent of normal via the NRCS
Westwide SNOTEL snow water equivalent as a percent of normal via the NRCS

From CBS Denver (Chris Spears):

With the end of snow season in sight for Colorado’s high country the statewide snowpack continues to struggle.

As of March 20 it was 81 percent of normal, down from 92 percent on March 6.

The average peak for snow accumulation in Colorado’s mountains is April 9.

While we’re in much better shape than some of our neighbors to the west, we know all too well how fast things can change when the weather patterns shift.

Colorado is a land-locked state about 1,000 miles from the nearest source of atmospheric moisture and it depends on weather patterns to bring rain and snow.

The latest information from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that 51 percent of the state was in a drought as of March 17.

That’s up 30 percent from just three months ago.

The latest 90-day outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center provides hope for the state with a wetter-than-normal forecast.

For Colorado to reach peak snow accumulation by the normal date we’ll need a few slow-moving and soggy storm systems to materialize quickly in the high country.

SNOTEL data shows that precipitation would need to be 293 percent of normal to reach peak accumulation by April 9.

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