Snowpack levels improving, still not normal

By: Joseph Dames Email
By: Joseph Dames Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - March is one of the months Colorado sees the most snowfall, but our recent warm temperatures mean winter is winding down and the snow Colorado desperately needs may not come.

It's definitely starting to feel more like Spring, and those warmer temperatures are devastating to our state's snowpack levels, already behind from last year's drought.

Fishermen like Phil Trimm have been worried they'd be in hot water this summer with low snow levels around the state.

“More water we have coming up the rivers, the colder it will stay, so the best thing for us is actually to have big run-off and keep a lot of water in our rivers," he said.

National Weather Service experts say the snow dances must have been working, because over the last few weeks several storms have added greatly to our local snowpack level.

"The last snow that we had over the weekend did help the snowpack slightly, we did improve on an average of 2 percent across the state, some locations more than others,” National Weather Service hydrologist Aldis Strautins said.

The levels and statewide numbers are still below average and it's leaving fishermen and others hoping to reel in more snow before the month ends.

Right now, our snowpack in Western Colorado is sitting at 77 percent. The Front Range is in the low 70’s, and the southern mountains look good at 80 or more.

Overall, the state's average snowpack is just 78 percent of normal, but there is a silver lining.

“Last year by this time we had already ended our snowpack accumulation season, and we were

Forecasters say there are still a few systems which are likely to bring in a chance for more snowfall. This weekend, the high country could see snow and should expect a stronger system later on next week.

Local hydrologists say the average end to our snowfall season is usually the first week of April.


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