Fast-melting snow in #Colorado mountains sends #water to downriver reservoirs — with flooding along the way — The #Denver Post #runoff #snowpack #MancosRiver #YampaRiver #GreenRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

Click the link to read the article on The Denver Post website (Bruce Finley). Here’s an excerpt:

Mountain snow-melting intensified this week with an unusually abrupt “flick of the switch” from cold to hot, leading to flooding that on Thursday cut off northwestern Colorado’s main transportation route and forced a shutdown of schools. The statewide heat that brought Denver temperatures to 85 degreesbreaking two records, combined with mountain snowpack more than a third above the norm, also has boosted the potential for early replenishment of water supply reservoirs, including those along the Colorado River

But rapid melting here and around the Southwest this week has brought higher-than-expected flows in rivers, such as the Mancos River in southwestern Colorado, along U.S. 160, and in the Yampa River in northwestern Colorado, along U.S. 40…Water in the Yampa and tributaries on Thursday gushed over banks and submerged a bridge near Hayden, forcing state transportation officials to close U.S. 40, the main transportation route in northwestern Colorado, between Steamboat Springs and Craig…

As the Mancos River swelled near Cortez, Montezuma County officials who had anticipated possible flooding in May or June suddenly faced those perils a month early.

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