#Snowpack news: Statewide #Colorado = 198% of last year’s accumulation

Yampa and White Basin High/Low graph March 11, 2019 via the NRCS.

From Steamboat Today (Eleanor C. Hasenbeck):

Most backyards in Steamboat Springs are filled with thigh-deep snow. In the mountains, the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s snow telemetry sites above Steamboat are all at or above average, from 47 inches of snow at the Bear River site in South Routt to 148 inches at the Tower site on Buffalo Pass.

On Saturday, the Yampa and White River Basin’s snowpack hit 23.8 inches of snow water equivalent, a measure that considers the amount of water contained in the snowpack. Considering snowpack data from 1986 to present, the median peak of snowpack in the Yampa and White River Basin is 22.9 inches of snow water equivalent. This typically occurs around April 13 when snowpack peaks before melting off.

This year’s snowfall has exceeded that median, and it did so about a month before it typically happens. Snowpack is at 119 percent of average in the Yampa and White River Basin and at 129 percent of average statewide…

The impacts of those dry years don’t disappear, though. As of Monday, Routt County was still under moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

“Runoff isn’t going to be totally mirroring the snowpack because of low soil moisture,” said Jim Pokrandt, community affairs director of the Colorado River District, which encompasses Routt County. “Some of the runoff is going to be going into the ground before it starts hitting the streams, which is a general fact when you’re coming off of a couple dry, hot summers like we’ve had.”

Utah statewide basin-filled map March 11, 2019 via the NRCS.

From The Deseret News (Amy Joi O’Donoghue):

February snapped Utah’s eight-year dry spell like a dry twig, and these latest rounds of storms in March propelled every single hydrologic basin into star-studded snowpack performances…

Last year, the Dixie region sat at 40 percent of normal for precipitation, with agricultural producers enduring cutbacks and a shortened growing season. The Virgin River was a trickle.

This year?

The Virgin River Basin is doing swimmingly, sitting at 175 percent, with Thompson now looking to the skies for possible rain-on-snow events that could bring flooding.

Southeastern Utah, which was also parched last year, has a snowpack at 158 percent of normal…

[Cody] Moser said the Colorado River was at 108 percent of average at Cisco on March 1 and within the region, the Dolores River Basin was at 180 percent of median and Gunnison was at 145.

Along the Wasatch Front, the Ogden-Weber Basin hovers at 131 percent of average, while Jordan-Provo sits at 140.

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map March 11, 2019 via the NRCS.

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