#Snowpack peaks, shifting view toward #runoff — The #Aspen Times

Click the link to read the article on The Aspen Times website (Josie Taris). Here’s an excerpt:

This season, snowpack peaked on April 7 with 23.2 inches of snow-water equivalent, about five inches above average, according to the USDA. Consistent snowfall throughout the season contributed to the 35% above-average count – the highest snowpack for the second week of April since 2019. Experts said it is still too soon to tell exactly what the snowmelt pattern will look like. Factors like temperature, wind, and dust will play into that rate…

If temperatures continue to rise and wind storms blow away top layers of snow or carry in dirt — the most detrimental to snowpack — rivers could swell and lead to strong flow or even flooding. Or if cold weather like Friday continues, the snowmelt could come at a more even pace all the way into July. Normal peak runoff season in the Roaring Fork watershed is mid-May through mid-June.  [Erin] Walter said elevation also plays a huge role in the rate of snowmelt. The highest elevations hold out the longest. Another factor in extending the runoff season is better soil moisture at the beginning of winter than in seasons past. 

“This winter, we’re heading in with better soil moisture. And so the hope is that then that water finds its way into the river rather than into the ground,” said Roaring Fork Conservancy water quality technician Matthew Anderson. 

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