Glenwood seeing most snow in years |

Glenwood seeing most snow in years

Amanda Holt MillerPost Independent Staff

The weather outside is frightful. And a little out of the ordinary. This area has not seen this much snow at once in four or five years, said Glenwood Springs resident Oscar McCollum, who reports to researchers at Colorado State University on local snowfall and daily temperatures.The latest storms brought about nine inches of snow and more than three inches of moisture. That’s almost one-fifth of the yearly average precipitation for this area, McCollum said. Western Colorado averages between 16 and 18 inches of moisture each year. “It’s good news for skiers,” McCollum said. “But it’s also good news for farmers. The snow is stored on top of the mountains and mesas until it melts, and it’s used for irrigation.”McCollum said rains in the spring and fall, along with snows like this one, will help this area to overcome drought.”This gets us really close to the normal amounts of precipitation,” McCollum said. “It’s good.”Jim Pringle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said lower than average temperatures could be to blame for the snow staying where it fell.Most of the time snow melts quickly in the lower Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys. But the warmest day this month was Dec. 2, which reported a high of 46 degrees at the Garfield County Airport in Rifle. Otherwise, it hasn’t been warmer than 39 degrees, and it’s been below freezing every night and some days.Pringle said arctic weather that usually stays to the east of the Continental Divide found its way into this valley this year.Pringle does not expect much more snow this week. Temperatures are supposed to creep into the low 40s. There is a slight chance there will be more snow Thursday and Friday, but Christmas Day will probably be sunny and a little warmer than it has been.”If the temperature doesn’t warm up too much, there could still be white stuff on the ground for Christmas,” Pringle said. “A white Christmas, though – for sure in the mountains. Here in the lower elevations – maybe not.”Contact Amanda Holt Miller: 625-3245 ext.

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