#Snowpack news: Widespread precipitation on the way for #Colorado

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

From The Fort Collins Coloradodoan (Miles Blumhardt):

Fort Collins has a good chance of receiving its first snow of 3 inches or more since November, with a strong storm system moving into the area.

Early indications are the Fort Collins area will receive 3 to 6 inches of snow with the foothills and mountains west of the city to see a foot or more of snow, according to some models.

The National Weather Service issued Tuesday afternoon a winter storm watch for much of the northeastern quadrant of the state, including Fort Collins and Denver, from 10 a.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Friday…

Meteorologists are unsure how much of the precipitation will fall as rain and how much of it snow. They do agree there is a lot of moisture with the system and what snow does fall will be wet and heavy…

They also are unsure where the low-pressure system funneling the moisture will set up. Even short distances in the tracking of low pressure can dramatically change how much snow areas receive. If it stays on its more northerly track through Colorado, that favors Denver and north. If it tracks more southerly, it favors Denver and south…

NWS said 3 to 7 inches of snow is expected along with 45 mph winds in the watch area, which will impact travel from Interstate 76 north.

The weather service also said widespread snow in the mountains will likely be heaviest along the Front Range mountains and foothills, mainly north of Interstate 70…

The National Weather Service in Cheyenne has issued a blizzard warning from Wednesday evening through Friday for a large swath of eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska. It includes area from Laramie to Sidney and will impact Interstate 80 travel. The forecast calls for 4 to 9 inches of snow and winds up to 50 mph…

Fort Collins’ traditional snowiest month — March — hasn’t delivered thus far. As of Tuesday, the city has received 0.7 inches of snow. The monthly average is around 11 inches.

We are at 51.9 inches of snow on the season, which is just less than 4 inches below our annual average and 9.4 inches above normal for this time of the snow season, according to the Colorado Climate Center.

While mountain snowpack has regressed in recent weeks, it’s still above average in five of the state’s river basins. The South Platte basin, which covers Fort Collins and Denver, is the highest at 117% of average.

During yesterday’s Governor’s Water Availability Task Force meeting Brian Domonkos (NRCS) made the point that while snowpack is fair across Colorado precipitation has not been stellar. Here’s a gallery of precipitation data from the NRCS.

And finally, here’s the Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map for today from the NRCS.

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