More snow needed to make up last year’s deficits

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RBC | After a below normal December, Colorado’s snowpack is approaching a pivotal point during the winter. Snowpack in the Yampa, White and North Platte basins is above normal at 104 percent of the median.Precipitation for December was 64 percent of average and water year-to-date precipitation is 101 percent of average. Reservoir storage at the end of December was 97 percent of average compared to 117 percent last year. No forecasts are available for January.

“The middle of January typically marks the midpoint of reaching the annual snowpack peak across the state of Colorado,” said Brian Domonkos, hydrologist with the USDA’s Colorado Natural Resources Conservation Service. Recent snowfall rates will need to pick up considerably for all of Colorado’s river basins to come close to a normal snowpack for streamflow runoff. In particular, southwestern Colorado needs to make up deficits from last year’s shortage of snowpack and depleted reservoir storage.

Statewide reservoir levels are below normal for this time of year at 81 percent of normal.

For more detailed information about mountain snowpack refer to the Jan. 1 Colorado Water Supply Outlook Report. For the most up to date information about Colorado snowpack and water supply related information, refer to the Colorado Snow Survey website.

Special to the Herald Times