#Colorado’s #snowpack far below norm despite recent precipitation — Out There Colorado

From Out There Colorado (Spencer McKee):

Despite quite a bit of snow that has landed in the state of Colorado throughout May, SNOTEL data shows that the snow water equivalent is well below the to-date median.

Statewide snowpack graph May 20, 2021 via the NRCS.

Statewide, snowpack is at 67 percent of the to-date median, though this number is greatly boosted by lingering snow in the South Platte basin, which includes the area around Estes Park, Boulder, and Denver. The South Platte Basin is at 113 percent of the to-date median.

Elsewhere in the state, snowpack is dwindling fast.

In the southwest corner, the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, and San Juan River basin is at a very low 27 percent of the to-date median. The nearby Upper Rio Grande basin is at 32 percent.

Despite being adjacent to the above-median South Platte basin, the North Platte basin is at 74 percent of the to-date median and the Colorado basin is at 80 percent of the to-date median. Basins in the northwest corner of the state and the southeast corner of the state are also short on snowpack with the Yampa and White basin in the northwest at 62 percent of the to-date median and the Arkansas basin in the southeast at 58 percent.

Colorado’s most populated area has been getting quite a bit of snow and rain in recent days and weeks, but this hasn’t been the case elsewhere in the state. As dry conditions continue and snowpack starts to dwindle, Coloradans can expect big fire concerns come summer.

Colorado Drought Monitor map May 18, 2021.

Recent data from the US Drought Monitor shows that around 16 percent of Colorado remains under the most severe level of drought conditions monitored, compared to none of the state on the same date last year.

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