#Snowpack news: Less SWE from SW basins (88%) NE to #SouthPlatte Basin (128%)

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

From The Vail Daily (Scott Miller):

Copper Mountain measurement site has already hit the 30-year median peak, weeks early

The latest figures on the “snow water equivalent” in and near the headwaters of Gore Creek and the Eagle River includes some good news, thanks to a snowy February.

The three main snow measurement sites used by the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District show numbers well above 30-year median figures.

As of March 2, Vail Mountain’s snow measurement site is at 117% percent of that 30-year median. Fremont Pass, the closest measurement site to the headwaters of the Eagle River, is at 124% of the 30-year median. The measurement site at Copper Mountain, the closest to the headwaters of Gore Creek, has the most snow, at 139% of the 30-year median.

In fact, the Copper Mountain measurement site has now accumulated its peak snow water equivalent compared to the 30-year median. That peak generally comes in early May…

That’s good news, for now, but several weeks remain in the area’s “snow year,” with the usually snowiest months of March and April still to come…

In the 2018-19 snow year, a snowy March boosted the snowpack. But a dry April caused the snowpack at Vail to peak in early April, instead of the usual late-April peak.

In fact, the Vail snowpack finished the previous snow year a bit below the 30-year median…

While an even chance of normal precipitation is fine, much of the state remains in some form of drought, according to the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University. Those conditions range from “abnormally dry” to “moderate drought.” Only the far southwestern corner of Eagle County is on that map. The rest of the county is drought-free.

And, here’s the Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map for March 3, 2020 via the NRCS.

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map via the NRCS.

Leave a Reply