Storms boost #snowpack amid persistent #drought — The #Montrose Daily Press #GunnisonRiver #ColoradoRiver #SanJuanRiver #DoloresRiver #COriver #aridification

Colorado snowpack basin-filled map January 13, 2022 via the NRCS.

From The Montrose Daily Press (Katharhynn Heidelberg):

Although Montrose finished 2021 a bit below normal for overall precipitation — 7.55 inches compared to the “normal year” average of 8.28 inches — December’s monthly precip, at 0.67 inches, was above the 0.46 inches average usually seen.

“There were two significant events in December that were the lion’s share of that,” National Weather Service meteorologist Lucas Boyer said on Jan. 6.

On Dec. 9, a snowstorm brought 0.22 inches of moisture and on New Year’s Eve came another 0.21 inches…

Last week carried 0.8 inches of precip for Montrose, a shade above the normal of 0.7. One week isn’t sufficient to determine how the whole month might go, but it left Montrose “pretty much even” with where it should be…

The Colorado River District isn’t counting anything as a certainty, but is breathing a little easier because of increased snowpack.

The January 10 SNOTEL data show the Gunnison Basin at 146% of normal snow-water equivalent.

In considering the relatively wet year of 2019, [Zane] Kessler said it would take about 10 such years to truly turn things around.

“That’s not a good bet. We’re not likely to see a solution to the structural deficit anytime soon,” he said.

The last round of storms did, however, help, taking extra-parched basins like the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan to 134% of average.

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map January 14, 2022 via the NRCS.

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