#Snowpack news: #Colorado is blue (and it’s to early to be dancing in the streets)

From 9News.com (Rebekah Ditchfield):

Newly-released statistics from the National Weather Service for Denver’s October shows our temperatures were slightly below average and precipitation was about average.

Southwest Colorado has also seen plenty of snow with resorts like Wolf Creek reporting 56 inches of snow so far this season.

However, we still haven’t seen much of a change in our drought conditions

A severe to exceptional drought continues through the west and southwest, but dry weather in Colorado is not unusual. We’ve seen our fair share of droughts. In fact, our climate is considered arid. Compared to many other states, we don’t get a lot of rain…

How did this drought get so bad in the first place?

The Colorado Climate Center measures water years from October to September. Generally that marks the beginning of snowfall in the mountains and follows it through the draining of our reservoirs for public use. The 2017-2018 water season saw record low volume of snowpack in higher elevations, especially in the San Juans, Sangre de Cristos and parts of the Gunnison Basin…

Peter Goble, a climatologist at the Colorado Climate Center based out of Colorado State University, says that was then followed up by “a brutal one-two punch of really warm and dry conditions in the summer.”

Reservoirs that had been overflowing the year before weren’t able to fill back up. However, Colorado residents still needed their water, so they continued to drain. That’s why many of those reservoirs sit at extremely low levels today.

So… what will it take to dig us out of the exceptional drought?

“If we have an average year, we’ll muscle through it,” Goble said. “If we have a couple average years, we can probably claw our way, at least a good amount, out of this drought. What we’re really wanting to see is one of those epic Colorado snow years.”

West Drought Monitor October 30, 3018.

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