Warm temps offset recent snowstorms | AspenTimes.com

Warm temps offset recent snowstorms

Aspen Times Staff Report

The government officials who measure the snowpack in Colorado say last weekend’s storm wasn’t enough to offset warm temperatures throughout the last half of the month.

The latest measurements show the state’s snowpack is only 89 percent of average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The snowpack in the Roaring Fork River basin is 88 percent of average. A computerized measuring station indicated that Independence Pass is at 90 percent of average. Total precipitation on Independence Pass since Oct. 1 is 19 percent below average, according to the conservation service.

About a foot of snow fell in the Aspen area last weekend, blessing skiers and riders again with plenty of fresh powder. Many people consider the skiing conditions to be the best since the winter of 1994-95.

But good skiing conditions don’t always equate to a good snowpack. Temperatures climbed into the 40s in Aspen during the past two weeks and really ate away at the snowpack.

The conservation service said southern Colorado has benefited from snowstorms the most this winter.

“The February storm track continued to bring the wettest storms across the southern portion of the state, while northern Colorado was missed by most storms during the month,” the latest snowpack report says. “As a result, the snowpack in the southern mountains remains above average, while the northern mountains suffered another dry month and continue to lag below average.”