Morning photo: Welcome, spring

Celebrate the season!


FRISCO —We’re stepping into spring here in the Colorado high country, and right on schedule, the first western bluebirds appeared on the fringes of local forests. There are other signs as well — reflective meltwater ponds along the edge of Dillon Reservoir and budding willow shrubs. Stop whatever you’re doing today for at least a few minutes to get outside and celebrate the changing of the seasons!

Morning photo: Step outside …

Don’t fear the winter


FRISCO —After about five months of snow and cold, it’s understandable that some people might want to just curl up beneath a thick blanket for a few weeks to wait for spring. But if you do, you might miss scenes like this: Exquisite morning sunshine filtering through tall pines, the tangerine-colored glow of a winter sunset and the crumpled snow fields that look like cake frosting. Enjoy the last bits of winter, especially in the era of global warming, when winter snows seem far from a sure thing. For daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

March storms bring Colorado snowpack to near average

Southern mountains get huge snowpack boost

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Early March storms helped bring the Colorado snowpack to near normal.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Colorado’s statewide snowpack continues to track near average for the winter, as two weeks of wet weather helped especially to bolster water supplies in the southern mountains.

But despite substantial accumulations statewide, the snowpack is still below average, at 87 percent of normal as of March 1. SNOTEL data shows that, during the nine-day period of February 20 through March 1, the state received 2.0 inches of snow water equivalent, 181 percent of the normal for that period.

Preliminary numbers from early March show an additional 7 percent gain between March 1 and March 5 — but with only 20 percent of the mountain snowpack accumulation season remaining, time is dwindling to close the gap and reach typical statewide peak snowpack levels. Continue reading

Morning photo: Sunday set

Cool in Colorado …


FRISCO — Just a short Sunday set featuring some “leftover” images from the past couple of weeks, including the strange solstice glow of the low winter sun and a stunning sunrise over the Blue River Valley. Follow our Instagram feed for daily updates, and visit the online Summit Voice gallery at Fine Art America to see more Summit County nature and landscape images.

Environment: Study tracks soot pollution in snow

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Pure white? Not always.

Staff Report

FRISCO— From a distance, a freshly fallen blanket of snow looks pure white, but there’s more than meets the eye. Mixed in with the reflective flakes are tiny, dark particles of pollution. University of Washington scientists recently studied that pollution to see if they could find regional or seasonal patterns that might affect melting and the overall climate.

The study shows that North American snow away from cities is similar to Arctic snow in many places, with more pollution in the U.S. Great Plains. The findings also also show that agricultural practices, not just smokestacks and tailpipes, may have a big impact on snow purity. Continue reading

Climate: Colorado snowpack shows surplus up north, continued deficits in southern mountains

Reservoir storage near average

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For the first three months of the current water year (starting Oct. 1, 2014) precipitation has been below average across large parts of the West, with just a few pockets of above average snow.

Staff Report

FRISCO —Colorado’s statewide snowpack is close to average for this time of year, federal water-watchers said this week, releasing results of the first monthly snow survey of the year.

Across the state, snowpack was at 99 percent of average for the date, with a surplus (114 percent) in the Colorado River Basin, but deficits in the south-central and southwestern mountains, which are facing their fifth straight year of below average snowpack and streamflows. Continue reading

Morning photo: Deep winter

Mountains aglow …

FRISCO — There’s nothing better than a mountain sunrise or sunset on a crisp winter day, with deep snow all around to help diffuse the light and add sparkle to the air. For this set, I pulled a handful of images from the archives going back just a few weeks, starting around the time of the winter solstice. Follow our Instagram feed for daily updates, and visit the online Summit Voice gallery at Fine Art America to see more Summit County nature and landscape images.

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