Thirsty state slurps up moisture from snowstorm |

Thirsty state slurps up moisture from snowstorm

Greg Masse
Staff Writer
With Wire Reports

The snowstorm that sloshed through the state on Thursday and Friday left about a tenth of an inch of precipitation in Glenwood Springs, but blessed other thirsty parts of the state with close to 20 inches of snow.

Reports around the area showed that Sunlight Mountain Resort received about 2 inches of snow; Carbondale and Basalt, like Glenwood, received a trace of snow that quickly melted. In Aspen, some snow was sticking to the ground above town on Ajax Mountain, but down in the city the snow melted as soon as it landed.

In most locations around the Roaring Fork Valley, one- to two-tenths of an inch of rain and snow-water equivalent were reported. An inch of snow-water equivalent translates to about 10 inches of snow.

The precipitation was a welcome change from the dry, windy weather of late, said Mike Gillespie, snow survey chief for the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service. But unless the wet weather continues, the moisture won’t last long.

“It’s still not nearly enough to get us out of the deficit we have,” he said. “It definitely helps, but a tenth or so of moisture will only help for a few days.”

Areas along the Front Range from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins received the lion’s share of moisture from the storm, with Buckhorn Mountain in Larimer County seeing 19.6 inches of snow pile up through Friday morning.

“For the most part, the (precipitation) was in the Front Range,” Gillespie said. “It definitely helps.

“It’s safe to say they’re safe for another week or two,” he said, referring to areas threatened by the widespread risk of wildfire.

The storm forced the closure of Interstate 70 from Vail to Copper Mountain on Friday. Several spun-out tractor-trailers and fender benders were reported, Colorado Department of Transportation sources said.

Rain and snow were reported from the Denver area to Glenwood Springs, with about four inches reported on roads around Vail.

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