#Snowpack news: #Colorado statewide SWE is heading downward

Click on a thumbnail graphic to view a gallery of snowpack data from the NRCS.

And here’s the Colorado January 2, 2018 snowpack by sub-basins from the NRCS.

From The Summit Daily News (Allen Best):

With the ground mostly brown just a few days before Christmas, some residents of Telluride gathered old skis and burned them in an offering to Ullr, in Norse mythology the god of snowshoes and some other items. The next day it snowed 4 inches at Telluride, reported the Daily Planet.

Coincidental or causal? Whatever. The San Juan Mountains have been so barren that just four inches was tantamount to a big dump in some winters.

Since then, a Christmas Eve storm left most of Colorado white. There was enough snow along the Continental divide in the Breckenridge to Winter Park area that avalanche forecasters warned backcountry skiers to definitely stay off slopes of more than 30 degrees…

But the blanket of snow across Colorado was not uniform. Telluride got just an inch, while Steamboat Today reported the local ski hill got 24 inches in two days. Ski areas in Montana and Wyoming did better.

In California, there was even less cause for holiday snow-white joy. There was no mistaking the Tahoe area for the North Pole at Christmas reported the Reno Gazette-Journal. “The mountains were patchy with snow all the way up, and the only snow falling as that made by the ski resorts.”


The problem for Colorado is the same as the problem for California: a persistent high-pressure ridge that has shunted moisture-laden storms northward. This has produced “almost inconceivably heavy snowfall in the coastal mountains of southern Alaska,” explained Daniel Swain in a Christmas Eve posting on the California Weather Blog.

Finally, here’s the Westwide SNOTEL map for January 2, 2018.

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map January 2, 2018 via the NRCS.

Leave a Reply