Posted on January 26, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
No good news from Colorado water powwow
A stream flow gage along Straight Creek, in Dillon, Colorado.
FRISCO —A January thaw has raised stream flows in the Colorado high country close to normal — but only because the warm temperatures are resulting in unseasonable runoff. All in all, Colorado could be facing one of the driest periods on record barring a miraculous turnaround in spring precipitation. And that’s not unheard of. A snowstorm that started March 17, 2003 dumped more than seven feet of snow on parts of the Front Range and Continental Divide and helping to end the early 2000s drought. Will it happen again? Nobody knows, because those types of one-shot weather events are unpredictable. But water managers say that even record-breaking spring snowfalls might not bring the state snowpack back to average.
A melt pond on what should, in January, be a frozen and snow-covered road at 9,000 feet.
Dillon Reservoir is dwindling away, even while it’s covered with snow.
Low snow, warm temps and beetle-killed forests have combined to create runoff puddles in the middle of January.
Those unusual runoff puddles are located in a corridor that’s packed with critical infrastructure. Is it possible we’re already feeling the effects of global warming right here at home?
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, La Niña, seasons, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather Tagged: | Colorado snow, Colorado weather, drought, Summit County snowpack