Grand County snowpack right at average |

Grand County snowpack right at average

Courtesy of NRCS
Staff Photo |

Around Colorado

Reported readings for the major river basins in Colorado are as follows:

Upper Colorado River Basin: 95 percent

Gunnison River Basin: 80 percent

South Platte River Basin: 97 percent

Yampa and White River Basins: 81 percent

Arkansas River Basin:100 percent

Upper Rio Grande Basin: 67 percent

San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, and San Juan River Basins: 66 percent

Laramie and North Platte River Basins: 82 percent

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Kremmling Field Office snow surveyors Mark Volt and Noah Bates took the Feb. 1 snow survey measurements during the last days of January and found snowpack in the high-elevation mountains above Middle Park is now around 100 percent of the 30-year average (1980-2010).

Last year’s snowpack at this time was 120 percent of average.

Snow density is averaging 24 percent, which means that for a foot of snow there are 2.9 inches of water. In far western Grand County, the lower depths of the snowpack are very granular with an ice layer at around 10 inches above the ground, which is responsible for the weak snow stability.

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 of our high country snowpack peaks around that time.

For further information, including real-time snow and precipitation data for SNOTEL (Automated Snow Telemetry) sites, visit

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