Snowpack nears normal for year

RBC I A cool and wet three weeks has brought a large change to the White River Basin snowpack and precipitation situation, with the three major reporting stations relevant to Rio Blanco County much closer to average for the year than they were four weeks ago.
Ken Coffin, the district ranger in Meeker for the Rio Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest, said the drainages listed in the state Water Resources Data System report that are the best indicators for Rio Blanco County are: Burro Mountain, located about 15 miles southeast of Meeker along the Buford-Newcastle road; Ripple Creek, due east of Meeker about 50 miles and off County Road 8; and Trappers Lake, about 50 miles southeast of Meeker, south of County Road 8.
Up-to-the-minute snow/water equivalents and total precipitation reports available through a cooperative effort of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Natural Conservation Service and the Water and Climate Center in Portland, Ore. The report, as of Friday morning, indicated that snow/water equivalents at the White River Basin monitors are between 78 and 12 percent of normal and that the percent of average precipitation is between 78 and 92 percent at the monitors, with the Trappers Lake area seeing the biggest increase.
Ripple Creek was in the best condition of the area drainages with the snow/water equivalent listed at 112 percent of normal The average is 24.5 inches and on Thursday there were 27.4 inches at the monitor, located at 10,340 feet. The total precipitation level to date is 92 percent of average, with 26.3 inches compared to the average of 28.5 inches.
The Burro Mountain drainage was listed at 91 percent of average in the snow/water equivalent, compared to 68 percent just four weeks ago. The total precipitation level was 78 percent of normal compared to 69 percent four weeks ago. There has been a total of 18.1 inches up through Friday compared to the average of 23.1 inches at the monitor, located at 9,400 feet.
The largest concern has been at the Trappers Lake monitor, located at 9,700 feet. Four weeks ago, the average was only 61 percent of the average snow/water equivalent, but that has been raised to 78 percent of average. The total precipitation of 18.7 inches compares to 22.4 inches on the average, but that is 83 percent of normal compared to 75 percent four weeks ago.

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