State snowpack 10 percent above average |

State snowpack 10 percent above average

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Colorado’s snowpack is 10 percent above average after a series of storms in December boosted it from near record lows at the start of the month to near record highs, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service reported Thursday.

The snowpack is highest in the southern mountains and lowest in northern Colorado, the federal agency reported.

The snowpack in the Roaring Fork River Basin was 16 percent above average as of 2 p.m. Thursday. The NRCS has seven automated Snowpack Telemetry stations scattered in the Roaring Fork, Fryingpan and Crystal river basins for measurement.

The Nast Lake site in the Fryingpan Valley was 50 percent above average Thursday while the Ivanhoe site was 37 percent above average. The measurement at Kiln was only 16 percent above average.

Schofield Pass in the Crystal River drainage was 1 percent below average but McClure Pass was 16 percent above average. No reading was available from the North Lost Trail site near Marble.

The snowpack measuring station east of Aspen near Grizzly Reservoir was at 19 percent above average Thursday. More snow is forecast through this weekend in the Aspen area.

The early readings don’t indicate how the snowpack will fare over the course of the winter. The NRCS noted that the state typically has received about 40 percent of its “seasonal maximum accumulation” of snow by Jan. 1. Dry spells or ongoing heavy snow could drastically alter the statewide snowpack.

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