November warmer, drier than average
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY ” It might be snowing now, but it didn’t in November.
Denver Water officials measured only 23 percent of average November precipitation at the Dillon Reservoir observation site. Only four inches of snow fell during the month compared to the historic average of 15.2 inches.
Average monthly temperatures at the Dillon site were significantly above normal for the month, continuing a long-term trend of warmer-than-average readings. The average monthly high was 46.1 degrees, about five degrees warmer than the historic average, based on records going back to 1909.
Temperatures climbed above freezing on all but five days, with the high for the month (61 degrees) on Nov. 10. The thermometer hit 50 degrees or better 17 times during November.
The low for the month was minus-seven degrees on Nov. 24. The average low was 13.5 degrees, nearly four degrees higher than the historic average of 9.7 degrees.
In Breckenridge, National Weather Service observer Rick Bly measured 9.6 inches of snow at his in-town location, where records tab the historic average for the month at 20.4 inches. Up until Nov. 20, the month was on track to be the second-driest November ever.
But for the weather year to date (beginning Oct. 1), snowfall is exactly average, at 32.6 inches, Bly said.
Around the Blue River basin, the snowpack was about 85 percent of the historic average, said Scott Hummer, water commissioner for the area. The automated Snotel site at Copper came in with the highest reading, at 113 percent of normal. Fremont Pass was at 93 percent and Hoosier Pass at 80 percent.
Local streams are flowing near historic means, with about 20 cubic feet per second (cfs) running in the Blue River near Breckenridge, and 32 cfs in the Snake River near Keystone.
Going into the winter Dillon Reservoir is still at a high level. Denver Water is slowly upping the outflow through the Roberts Tunnel, said Denver Water’s Marc Waage. The reservoir remains nearly full even though Denver Water released several thousand acre feet of water down the Lower Blue in the past few weeks. The Roberts Tunnel was closed due to some maintenance work, Waage said.
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