State remains behind in snowpack despite up to 40 inches in two days
DENVER – The state’s snowpack remains considerably behind average despite a snow storm that delivered up to 40 inches of desperately needed snow in one mountain area before moving out of the state today.It was a great relief for ski areas after a warm and dry fall that forced some major areas to delay their openings, and also was good news for municipal water suppliers.The National Weather Service cautions that it is too early to start celebrating. Farmers on the plains didn’t get much snow, which they need to cover their winter crops.Overall, the state remains way behind average in many areas. Wolf Creek ski resort got 36 inches in the past two days, but the area remains 99 inches behind average. The National Weather Service said a snow-reporting site near Wolf Creek picked up 40 inches.Reversing the fate of Noah and his family, Grand Junction had not received measureable precipitation for 40 days and 40 nights until Friday night, the Daily Sentinel reported.The federal snowpack report Sunday said river basins in Colorado ranged from a high of 92 percent of the 30-year average in the San Miguel-Dolores-Animas-San Juan basin to 59 percent in the Yampa-White River basin. The South Platte basin, a major supplier of water to the Front Range, was 68 percent.Denver Water, the biggest supplier in the state, reported its reservoirs were 85 percent full in late November.Climatologist Klaus Wolter of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in an experimental forecast, has predicted a dry winter possibly followed by drought conditions. The Weather Service is predicting average precipitation for the period from Dec. 7-11, followed by below-average from Dec. 8-14.Avalanches were possible in some areas, but blizzard and snow warnings were canceled Sunday.With the major holiday season coming up ski resorts were happy to get what they did. Silverton reported getting 36 inches in the past two days. Vail was able to more than triple its terrain and now has 15 lifts open.Purgatory was able to open Sunday after getting 20 inches in the past two days. It was charging only $15 for lift tickets and giving the money to charity.
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