Snowpack slightly below average statewide |

Snowpack slightly below average statewide

Snowpack across Colorado is a bit below average, but the situation isn’t dire, assistant snow survey supervisor Tony Tolsdorf said on Wednesday.

In the Colorado River Basin, snowpack was at 86 percent of average on Jan. 28, nearly the same as it was Jan. 1.

“The thing is, early on in January we got some storms and most of the basins on the Western Slope were above average,” said Tolsdorf, who works for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Denver.

But two weeks of dry weather later in January put the basin below average once again.

“We’re definitely better than we were last year at this time,” he said.

Area Snotel sites relayed good news from a lot of areas that drain into the Roaring Fork River.

Independence and McClure passes both are sitting at 91 percent of average; Ivanhoe and Nast Lake, both in the Fryingpan Basin, are at 83 and 76 percent of average respectively; and Schofield Pass and North Lost Trail, both above Marble, are at 105 and 107 percent of average.

Across the state, some basins have received bountiful snowfall, while others have been abnormally dry.

River basins in the southern part of the state are getting the most snowfall ” with three over 100 percent of average.

“They’re doing really well down there,” Tolsdorf said of the southern basins. “They’re still above average and still hoping for average.”

But basins east of the Continental Divide are suffering. The South Platte River Basin is at just 63 percent of average.

By Feb. 1, 60 percent of the winter’s snow has usually fallen, Tolsdorf said.

“January is traditionally one of the lower months,” he said. “Usually there’s a lot more snow in February and March, and hopefully that’ll be the case this year.”

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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