Storm boosts Grand County snowpack | SkyHiNews.com

Storm boosts Grand County snowpack

Surveyor Mark Volt takes snow measurements Jan. 27 on Gore Pass. Middle Park snow courses averaged 112% of normal on Feb. 1, but jumped to 133% after last week's snowstorm.
Courtesy of NRCS

Last week’s snowstorm upped Grand County’s snowpack to 133% of the average.

When surveyors for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service measured snow at the end of January, the snowpack for the mountains above Middle Park was at 112% of the 30 year median.

A storm last week dumped 30 inches of snow, bringing the snowpack to 133% of the average. Other northern and central river basins in the state also saw a 10-20% boost from the snowstorm on Feb. 6-8.

This time last year, snowpack was at 117% of the average. Though it is still early in the winter and the snowpack could change significantly by May, surveyors say this is a good start.

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Snow density is averaging 25%, meaning that for a foot of snow there are 3 inches of water.

Most of the measuring sites around Middle Park have been read since the 1940s. Measurements are taken at the end of each month, beginning in January and continuing through April.

March is historically the snowiest month in Grand County and those readings are the most critical for predicting runoff and summer water supplies, as most of the High Country’s snowpack peaks around that time.

For more info, including real time snow and precipitation data, go to http://www.co.nrcs.usda.gov/snow.index.html.


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