Middle Park snowpack far above average | SkyHiNews.com

Middle Park snowpack far above average

Special to the Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado
Courtesy photo

Snowpack in the high-elevation mountains above Middle Park now ranges from 111 percent to 170 percent of the 30-year average (1971-2001).

Last-year snowpack at this time was only about 65 percent of average.

“We’re just lucky this year,” said Mark Volt of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Kremmling Field Office.

Snow surveyors Volt and Jenny Stricker took the Feb. 1 snow survey measurements during the last days of January.

Snow density is averaging 25 percent, which means that for a foot of snow, there are 3 inches of water.

“This is pretty dense snow for this time of year,” Volt said.

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 http://www.co.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/index.html.

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