Posted on March 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Emergent sage, Summit County, Colorado.
FRISCO — Summit County gleamed white once again after a quick overnight storm dropped a few more inches of snow, the latest wave in a seemingly endless onslaught of winter. But it only took a few hours of warm spring sunshine start the inexorable thaw process in the valleys, where — surprise — there’s already a bit of brown earth showing. Melting snow on emergent sage has to be one of the best smells in the world, and if you don’t believe me, take a stroll along the Oro Grande trail in Dillon. Please visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature photography.
Filed under: Colorado, Morning photo, photography, seasons, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, seasons, Summit County photography | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Severe drought continues in Southwest
California, Arizona and New Mexico reporting very dry conditions.
By Summit VoiceFRISCO — Snowpack across the West is still somewhat of mixed bag in this no-Niño winter, but February storms did help bolster water supplies across the northern tier of states, according to the monthly update from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
East of the Continental Divide as well as parts of Washington, northern Oregon, northern Idaho and western Montana are now forecast to have near-normal or above normal water supplies, according to the forecast from the NRCS National Water and Climate Center. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, extreme weather, global warming, Snow and weather | Tagged: climate, drought, stream flow forecasts, The West | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 16, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Deep in the Gore Range.
FRISCO —Mid-March, Friends are posting pictures of crocuses, daffodils and forsythia blooming outdoors, as well as meadows greening up and trees starting to bud out — but not here in the high country, where winter still grips the land. Here’s how it looked March 15, 2014 around Summit County. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Morning photo, photography, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, snow, Summit County photography, winter | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 15, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A faint sheen of color above Buffalo Mountain marked sunset, with more moisture rolling in from the West.
Colorado’s north-central mountains favored by this winter’s storm track
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Summit County remained a target for above average precipitation in February, with both official weather stations reporting surplus snowfall for the month. The Upper Blue in particular benefited from the storm track, with the snowpack now approaching record levels.
To date, the snowpack in the Blue River Basin is the third highest on record, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Chad Gimmestad, who said there is a moderate potential for spring flooding in the basin. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, snow, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: climate, Colorado, February 2014 weather statistics, snowfall, weather | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Big parts of the West are experiencing a moisture deficit this winter, with drought continuing in California.
Northwest flow favors Colorado’s northern mountains
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — For the third month in a row, Colorado snowpack is tracking above average. February, ended with the snowpack at 116 percent of median, with snowfall to-date for the water year (starting Oct. 1) at 133 percent of average.
A series of wet storm cycles pummeled the mountains during the month, with the bullseye over the north-central region, where some stations reported nearly double the average monthly snowfall. The no-Niño weather pattern has left a moisture deficit in the southwest part of the state, where the Upper Rio Grande and the combined San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan basins, are still experiencing below normal snow conditions for this time of year. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Snow and weather | Tagged: climate, Colorado, snowpack, water, weather | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
This near-total clearcut near Frisco, Colorado, may provide a higher-value ecosystem service than a slow-growing forest. bberwyn photo.
Higher albedo of snow-covered ground a factor in climate mitigation calculations
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Snow farming is nothing new for ski area operators, who have long been cultivating the white stuff to help keep their slopes covered. Now, a recent study by researchers at Darthmouth College suggests that snow farming could also make sense on a larger scale, in the context of climate-change mitigation.
In a novel look at forests and snow, their report says that replacing forests with snow-covered meadows may provide greater climatic and economic benefits than if slow-growing trees are left standing in snowy high latitudes. In those areas, persistent snow cover reflects heat back into space, partially offsetting the effect of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, seasons, snow | Tagged: Clearcutting, Climate change mitigation, earth's albedo, forests, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Flags mark the spot where Christopher Norris died in an inbounds avalanche on open terrain at Winter Park Ski Area on January 22, 2012. Photo courtesy CAIC.
Ruling broadens ski industry immunity
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Skiers and snowboarders in Colorado may want to start carrying their avalanche gear at developed resorts, after an appeals court ruled last week that avalanches are one of the many inherent risks of skiing on lift-served terrain.
The Colorado Court of Appeals decision (announced Feb. 13) stems from a deadly January 22, 2012 avalanche at Winter Park resort, when Christopher Norris died while skiing an open, inbounds run at Winter Park known as Trestle Trees. As it stands, the ruling broadens the almost unprecedented immunity that ski resorts have from being held liable for accidents, including inbounds avalanches. Continue reading
Filed under: avalanches, Colorado, Ski Resorts | Tagged: Colorado, inbounds avalanches, ski industry, Ski Safety Act, skiing, Trestle Tres avalanche, Winter Park | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 15, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A roadside scene between Frisco and Breckenridge. The mounds of snow are settlement cones, showing how the surrounding snowpack has consolidated, while being suspended in the immediate vicinity of the small trees.
FRISCO —The hills and valleys of Summit County are probably about as snow-covered as they’re going to get this year, although the latest forecasts call for the stormy flow off the Pacific to continue into the foreseeable future. It’s not every winter that the lower elevations get this much snow, so it’s been fun to see the seasonal transformation of familiar spots. I’m sure that some people are starting to have spring thoughts right now, but I’m ready for another month of snowfall — Let’s see how deep into winter we can go! Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Morning photo, photography, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Bob Berwyn photography, Colorado, Summit County photography | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 11, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
High avalanche danger prevailed across the Colorado mountains when two backcountry skiers died in snow slides Feb. 10.
High slide danger persists across the mountains
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Colorado’s exceptionally deep snowpack turned deadly this week, as a backcountry traveler near Kebler Pass was killed in a large avalanche. Search and rescue crews also found another victim in the backcountry between Keystone and Breckenridge after a two-day search.
According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the Feb. 10 Kebler Pass slide involved two snowmobilers caught in a “very large avalanche” on a south- to southeast-facing slope below treeline. The slide broke between two to five-feet deep, about 600 feet wide and ran about 750 vertical feet. Debris at the bottom of the slide piled up to 20 feet deep.
Filed under: avalanches, climate and weather, snow, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: avalanche deaths, avalanches, backcountry, Colorado, skiing, snow, snowmobiling | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 10, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Colorado’s snowpack is above average as of Feb. 1.
Feb. 1 snow survey results suggest decent spring runoff for most of the state
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Colorado’s snowpack surged to above average in late January thanks to a strong storm that brought snow statewide, federal water experts said last week. The Feb. 1 snow survey showed the average snowpack across the Colorado mountains at 107 percent of average, and 152 percent above last year’s Feb. 1 reading.
As of Feb. 1, only the Upper Rio Grande (82 percent) and San Juan (79 percent) basins in the southern part of the state were below average, according to the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, runoff, snowpack, water, weather | Leave a comment »