Colorado snowpack dips below average |

Colorado snowpack dips below average

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

Colorado’s mountain snowpack saw significant declines during the month of March, the Natural Resources Conservation Service said Friday.

According to data from the latest snowpack measurements, the state’s snowpack decreased in terms of percent of average in all basins of the state last month.

The decreases were enough to lower snowpack percentages to below average totals for this date across most of the state, with the only exception being the northwestern portion of Colorado.

The statewide snowpack decreased to 96 percent of average on April 1, said the National Resources Conservation Service, which conducted the snowpack measurements.

It marked the first time statewide snowpack this season went below average. On Jan. 1, statewide snowpack was 120 percent of average.

Forecasts for expected runoff across Colorado have declined each month as the state’s snowpack percentages have steadily declined.

With the latest snowpack data, runoff forecasts for spring and summer water supplies have decreased to below average across most of the state. Only those streams and rivers in the Colorado, White, and Yampa basins of northwestern Colorado are expected to flow at slightly above average volumes this year. For water users across southern Colorado the latest runoff forecasts are showing the greatest decline from early winter, when the outlook was very positive.

While summer runoff may be below average for much of the state this summer, reservoir storage remains just slightly above average statewide. All basins are storing at least near average volumes for this time of year, with the exception of the Rio Grande basin.

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