#Snowpack news: The month of March is one for the record books in Summit County

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map April 10, 2019 via the NRCS.

From The Summit Daily (Antonio Olivero):

This past March will go down in the record books for Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Keystone Resort, which all received more March snowfall than ever before.

At Breckenridge, spokeswoman Sara Lococo said March’s 111 total inches surpassed the previous high of 98 inches that Breckenridge received in March 2001. That’s 13.3 percent more snow than March 2001. The 111 inches also makes March 2019 the third snowiest month on record at Breckenridge and the snowiest month outside of a pair of Januarys. The highest monthly snowfall total on record for the resort was 120 inches in January 2014, followed by 112 inches in January 1996.

At Copper Mountain, spokeswoman Taylor Prather said March 2019’s 98 inches of snow was just about 14 percent more snowfall than Copper’s previous March high, the 86 inches the resort received in March 2001. This past month also ranks as the fourth snowiest month on record since the resort opened in 1972. It’s also the second snowiest month of this past decade.

At Keystone, March’s 94 inches of snow was just under 19 percent more snow than the previous record March: March 2011’s 79 inches of snow. March 2019 comes in as the third snowiest month on record at Keystone, only behind the 128 inches received in December 1983 and the 127 inches that fell in January 1996.

And up at the Continental Divide, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area received 82.75 inches this March. Though it was the snowiest month yet this year for the ski area, and though A-Basin’s annual average for March is 51 inches, A-Basin’s all-time record for March snowfall was the 110 inches that fell in March 1982.

A-Basin spokeswoman Katherine Fuller said April is actually, on average, the snowiest month of the year, at 53.4 inches. Fuller clarified that A-Basin’s data goes back to 1978. In that time, Fuller said A-Basin has had multiple 100-plus-inch months, led by December 1983’s 133 inches.

From The Aspen Times (Scott Condon):

This March was one of the snowiest ever in the past 84 winters in Aspen, but it didn’t set a record.

The Aspen Water Treatment Plant recorded 63.1 inches of snow this month. The record is 76.50 inches in March 1965. The city of Aspen has snow and precipitation records back to the 1934-35 winter.

“The snowfall we did receive was relatively high in moisture and the total precipitation was record-breaking,” said the water treatment plant’s monthly report, filed by Laura Taylor. “6.04 inches was measured, surpassing the old record of 5.53 inches from March 1995.”

The records confirm what everyone probably suspected. The month was way above the average for precipitation, which is 2.38 inches, and it also was well above the average of 27 inches of snow at the water plant…

For the month of March, Aspen Highlands collected 117 inches of snow. Snowmass hauled in 96 inches and Aspen Mountain logged 95.

That was the third-snowiest March in 24 years of records at Snowmass, according to Hanle. There were 119 inches logged in March 1995 and 100 inches in 2008.

For the season from Nov. 1 through March, Aspen Highlands scored 338 inches of snow. Snowmass was a close second at 313 inches.

Aspen Mountain collected 253 inches from November through March while Buttermilk recorded 143 inches.

The season-to-date snowfall amounts are running about 20 percent above average for the ski areas, Hanle said.

From The Denver Post (Chris Bianchi):

Thanks to the 7.1 inches of snowfall from the bomb cyclone, Denver finished its typically snowiest month of the year with an above-average total. The 12.9 inches of total March snowfall made it the snowiest March since 2016, when another big blizzard jacked up monthly totals. With February snapping Denver’s 25-month below-average snowfall skid, seasonal snow totals have recovered to near-typical levels for the beginning of April, although Denver’s official snowfall is still slightly below normal.

This is a continuation of what’s been an active winter overall for the Front Range and statewide. All three months so far in 2019 have finished with above-average precipitation in Denver, helping wipe away most of Colorado’s drought.

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