Middle Park snowpack remains near normal
March 3, 2015
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Kremmling Field Office snow surveyors Mark Volt and Vance Fulton took the March 1 snow survey measurements during the last days of February, and even with the recent warm weather, the survey shows that the Upper Colorado River Basin is in pretty good shape!
Snowpack in the high elevation mountains above Middle Park now ranges from 78 percent to 128 percent of the 30-year average, with the overall average for Middle Park at 102 percent.
Last year at this time the area was at 141 percent of average. Snow density is averaging 25%, which means that for one foot of snow there is 3.0 inches of water, which is normal for March 1, though lower elevation/valley snowpack appears to be suffering.
Most of the snow courses around Middle Park have been read since the 1940s. Snow course readings are taken at the end of each month, beginning in January and continuing through April.
March is historically the snowiest month, and the April 1 readings are the most critical for predicting runoff and summer water supplies, as most high country snowpack peaks around that time.
For further information, including real-time snow and precipitation data for SNOTEL (automated Snow Telemetry) sites, visit http://www.co.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/index.html.