#Drought/#Snowpack/#Runoff news: Gunnison County is now out of drought

Colorado precipitation as a percent of normal March 2019 via the High Plains Regional Climate Center.

From The Crested Butte News (Cayla Vidmar):

Miracle March, local reservoirs expected to be near full this summer

The heavy March storm cycles helped push the area out of a long-standing drought.

…Frank Kugel, general manager for the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District (UGRWCD), stated Tuesday that Gunnison County is officially no longer in a drought, according to the Colorado drought monitor.

“The March storms were definitely very significant and in certain areas, in the first eight days of March we had a full month’s worth of precipitation,” said Kugel. “It was a great storm system for us, and has been very encouraging.”

The UGRWCD averages the five SNOTEL (Snowpack Telemetry) sites, which measures snowpack across the Upper Gunnison Basin. Kugel says, “We’re currently showing 150 percent of normal [snowpack] for this time of year.”

With the extended drought, some were concerned about the prospect of Blue Mesa refilling, even after a good snow year. But Kugel says they’re expecting the reservoir to fill to approximately seven-eighths of capacity, which, he says “is great considering it’s currently at 30 percent capacity.”

Kugel says Taylor Reservoir is expected to fill this year…

…being out of the drought is great news to go into the off-season. Look for a spectacular wildflower season this summer.

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