Snowpack remains below average |

Snowpack remains below average

summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – The local and statewide snowpack continues to measure below average, with the Blue River Basin at 74 percent of average, as 2010 levels near their seasonal maximum.

“Given the current deficit across northern Colorado, the odds of reaching a near-average snowpack remain at less than 10 percent at this time,” according to a press release from the National Resources Conservation Service.

But reservoir storage levels continue to measure near average across the state, with the Dillon Reservoir at 112 percent of average and Upper Colorado River Basin reservoirs overall at 111 percent of average.

“This water should help alleviate late-summer shortages in those basins producing below-average runoff this year,” according to the NRCS press release.

The Blue River Basin snowpack by the end of March had fallen 3 percent from February’s level of 77 percent.

The measurement at the Snake River fell 9 percent last month to 24 percent of average – or only 10 inches of snow depth and 1.9 inch of water content.

Near-average runoff this year is expected only in parts of the state’s southern basins. The Arkansas and Rio Grande rivers can be expected to have average or slightly above average runoff levels.

“The basins with the lowest runoff potential include the Yampa, White, North Platte and the upper reaches of the Colorado River,” according to the NRCS.

Continuing into April, the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center calls for above-average precipitation levels over the next month, with temperatures slightly below average for the next eight to 14 days.

The National Weather service predicts snow to continue through Wednesday before the clouds disperse and temperatures rise as high as 50 F on Thursday and 53 F on Saturday.

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