#Snowpack news (January 7, 2021): Colorado snowpack mostly below average as #drought persists statewide — The #Denver Post

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

From The Denver Post (Jake Shapiro):

Tuesday night was a good one for Colorado’s snowpack. Steamboat Ski Resort reported 9 inches of new snow, Loveland another 7 and many other ski areas between 2 and 6 inches…

As of Wednesday, Southwest Colorado struggles the most with just 72% of normal snowpack levels, while the Rio Grande basin is slightly above average. Denver’s South Platte River basin is 82% of the average snowpack, which matches most of the state’s northern half, the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Colorado reports.

Where the snowpack is struggling is also where Colorado’s drought conditions are the worst. The entirety of the Four Corners counties — Montezuma, La Plata, San Juan Dolores and San Miguel — are listed by officials as being in an exceptional drought, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. Most of the western slope is either recorded as being in stage four drought conditions, which are considered exceptional, or stage three, considered extreme.

Custer and Alamosa counties are faring the best in Colorado, with droughts considered moderate. The two Rio Grande basin counties and the entire San Luis Valley are doing better than the rest of the state.

In its entity, Colorado is in a drought and has been since September when the water year began. Conditions have become much more extreme, meaning snow is all the more critical.

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map January 7, 2021 via the NRCS.

From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Jessica Snouwaert):

An inch of snow is expected to fall in Colorado Springs over the weekend, but the light sprinkling will not be enough to offset this winter’s lag in moisture.

Usually by this point in the year Colorado Springs has had 14.4 inches of snowfall, the National Weather Service reported. But since July 1, 2020, Colorado Springs has only seen 11.1 inches of snow, which is about 3 inches less than the average. The lack of moisture through the fall and into winter could have serious consequences for the trees and the landscape in the region…

About an inch of snow is due in the Pikes Peak region Saturday, Weather Service forecasters predict. The brief storm will clear out Saturday night with sun expected Sunday and temperatures rising into the 40s by Monday…

“There’s nothing we can do there in terms of making up water deficits,” Will said. “It either comes from nature or it doesn’t.”

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