Click the link to read the article on the Aspen Journalism website (Heather Sackett):
Local snowpack reaches 145% of normal
Note: Local snowpack readings and chart are now using the percent of median instead of percent of average.
Snowpack in the Roaring Fork basin, which is exceeding the basin-wide median seasonal snow-water equivalent peak of 17.1 inches that typically occurs in mid-April, reached an average of 21.9 inches of snow-water equivalent per site on March 26 or 145% of median according to NRCS. Snowpack gained about three inches of SWE since last week on average per site after recent snow storms.
SNOTEL sites that monitor snowfall throughout the winter measured the snowpack at Independence Pass at 106.6% of median on March 26 with a “snow water equivalent” (SWE) of 16.2 inches, up from 15 inches on March 19. Last year on March 26, the SNOTEL station up the pass (located at elevation 10,600 feet) recorded an SWE of 13.2 inches.
The monitoring station at McClure Pass located at elevation 8,770 feet recorded a SWE of 27.5 inches on March 26, or 181% of median. That’s up from a SWE of 24.1 inches on March 19. Snowpack has gained three inches of SWE since March 21. Last year, on March 26, the station measured a snowpack holding 16.6 inches of water.
On the northeast side of the Roaring Fork Basin, snowpack at Ivanhoe, which sits at an elevation of 10,400 feet, reached 16.9 inches of SWE on March 26, or 125.2% of median.
Snowpack at Schofield Pass, which boasts some of the largest SWE accumulations in the basin, reached 46 inches on March 26, which represents 160.8% of median. Snowpack at this site gained six inches of SWE last week, the largest increase of SWE among these five Roaring Fork basin stations over the past week. Schofield Pass sits at an elevation of 10,700 feet between Marble and Crested Butte.
Snowpack at that site has been exceeding its median seasonal peak of 35.1 inches since March 11, which typically doesn’t come until mid April. McClure Pass, which as we reported earlier in March is seeing especially high snowpack readings this winter like other mid elevations stations, topped its median seasonal peak of 16.6 inches on Feb. 14 this year.
Snow water equivalent — the metric used to track snowpack — is the amount of water contained within the snowpack, which will become our future water supply running in local rivers and streams.