Stateside snowpack slightly above normal |

Stateside snowpack slightly above normal

Staff report

Snowpack levels throughout Colorado remain “normal” despite a dry second half of December, thanks to significant early-season snow, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The Jan. 1 snowpack readings are 103 percent of median statewide, according to Phyllis Ann Philipps, state conservationist with the federal agency. This is the best start to the winter since 2011.

The Roaring Fork River Basin was at 101 percent of average Wednesday. The Independence measuring station showed a snowpack at 101 percent. The three sites in the Fryingpan Valley were below average Wednesday. The three sites in the Crystal Valley were at or above average. Schofield Pass is at 111 percent of average.

All major river basins in Colorado are near normal. The Colorado River Basin has a snowpack that is 102 percent of average and 141 percent of last year’s level, the agency reported. Reservoir storage in the basin is 98 percent of average in the basin.

The Yampa, Arkansas and Gunnison river basins are all slightly above average for snowpack. The San Miguel is at average. The Rio Grande and South Platte are at 99 percent of average.

Statewide, the reservoir storage is at 87 percent of average.

“All in all, these early-season conditions are favorable leading into the bulk of the snow-accumulation season,” the Natural Resources Conservation Service said in a statement. “If weather patterns persist and continue to provide moisture to our state, this could be a good year for water supply and recreation in Colorado.”