Posted on May 6, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Late season storms target north-central Colorado mountains
Snow cover on Peak 8 at Breckenridge Ski Area reached a peak after the resort closed for the season. Bob Berwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — A surge of April moisture brought the year-to-date snowfall total in Breckenridge right up to average, according to National Weather Service observer Rick Bly, who said that last month ended up being the fifth-wettest April on record, dating back to the late 1800s.
Bly tallied 49.5 inches of snow, compared to the average 24.7 inches. The snow that fell in April was equivalent to 4.14 inches of water, nearly double the average of 2.1 inches. For the water year to-date, Bly has measured 12.3 inches of snow-water equivalent, nearly an inch above average. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Snow and weather, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Breckenridge Colorado, Breckenridge snowfall statistics, Colorado weather, drought, Summit County snow, summit county weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 14, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Ski hills celebrate powder; snow snarls roads, ups backcountry avalanche hazard
A spring snowstorm noses into Colorado Saturday, April 13.
Almost 7 inches of snow in Frisco, Colorado.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Mother Nature saved her best for late in the season, as a mid-April storm dropped more than 12 inches of snow across the Colorado mountains, as well as some beneficial rain along the Front Range.
The potent storm blew in on the nose of the jet stream, with a strong and moist northwest flow blasting through the mountains Saturday night. Many areas reported their biggest single-storm snow totals for the entire season, including downtown Frisco, where 7 inches piled up overnight. (more…)
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Posted on April 12, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Season-long snow totals still lagging
The Colorado Climate Center maintains graphs that show average annual temperatures for individual weather stations dating back to the start of record-keeping.
Plenty of fresh snow graced the Gore Range during March. Bob Berwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — While some Colorado residents may be yearning for daffodils, snow lovers are probably thinking better late than never, as March delivered a moisture surplus — the first month of the winter with snowfall totals significantly above average.
In Breckenridge, National Weather Service observer Rick Bly measured 34.3 inches of snow at his downtown weather station, nearly 10 inches more than the historic average of 25.5 inches. Similarly, Denver Water staffers in Dillon measured 30 inches of snow in March. The long-term average is 22 inches. (more…)
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Posted on April 4, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Some drought-hit areas stay dry
Summit County, western Eagle County and parts of Colorado’s northeastern plains saw well above-average precipitation in March, but much of the rest of the state was very dry.
Drought conditions persist at some level across all of Colorado as of late March.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s snowpack continues to inch upward and recently passed last year’s level, but the state’s water woes aren’t over, according to the results of the latest Natural Resources Conservation Service snow survey.
The good news is that the snowpack hasn’t quite peaked yet, according to the April 1 compilation of statistics from automated SNOTEL sites and manual survey results. The bad news is that soil moisture in many parts of the state is still at drought levels, and reservoir levels are well below average and lagging behind last year.
While March snowfall was above average in some parts of Colorado, the statewide snowpack increased by only one percent during the month, from 73 percent of median on March 1, to 74 percent of median on April 1. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: climate, Colorado drought, Colorado snowpack, Colorado weather, Natural Resources Conservation Service, SNOTEL | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 2, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Morning skies over the Gore Range.
FRISCO — Snow photos dominated in March, probably because it was the first month in quite a while to deliver plenty of moisture, along with cool temps and wintry full moon setting in the early days of spring. (more…)
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Posted on March 23, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Resorts reporting powder conditions, but road conditions could hamper access, while the backcountry avalanche danger soars
An active northern jet stream is bringing cold air and moisture to the northern tier of states, including Colorado. On and off snow is possible through the weekend.
The CAIC is reporting numerous backcountry avalanches. Click here for more photos.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — March is living up to its reputation as the snowiest month in the Colorado high country, with chilly spring storm snarling roads, intensifying avalanche danger and adding much-needed moisture to the state’s snowpack.
Ski areas around the state are generally reporting up to 12 inches of new snow in the past few days, and moderate to heavy snow continued falling Saturday morning. Some of the heaviest totals are expected east of the Continental Divide, where the California Department of Transportation reported bumper-to-bumper traffic around I-70 and C-470.
East of Denver, I-70 was closed to the Kansas border, and slick conditions on the westbound approach to the mountains prompted CDOT to require chains, snow tires or four-wheel drive for all vehicles in Mt. Vernon Canyon, just west of Denver.
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Posted on March 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Spring outlook trends toward warm and dry conditions
The Madden-Julian Oscillation has played a role in Colorado weather this winter.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — With neither El Niño or a La Niña conditions in the Pacific Ocean, long-range weather forecasters have been struggling to develop confidence in their outlook for the coming spring season — a critical time for much of the West in terms of getting some relief from drought conditions.
A wet and cool spring could at least take the edge off the drought in some areas, helping to maintain stream flows and reduce the potential for massive and dangerous wildfires. Conversely, a return to last year’s very dry and warm spring pattern would spell trouble for places like Colorado.
So if the El Niño-La Niña cycle isn’t driving the weather, what is? What we do know is that conditions over the Pacific Ocean are the key to understanding exactly what path storms will take across the western United States, and that conditions in the North Atlantic can also be a factor. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, El Niño, La Niña, Summit County Colorado, Weatherblog | Tagged: Colorado weather, drought, El Nino, ENSO, La Niña, Madden-Julian Oscillation | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 9, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Forecaster still uncertain for high country snow totals
A big Pacific trough is working its way inland, bringing snow to much of Colorado.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A winter storm rolling out of the Four Corners toward Colorado is billed as having the potential to drop several feet of snow in parts of the state, but even late Friday night, forecast models were still not in complete agreement as to where the heaviest snow will fall Saturday through Sunday.
National Weather Service forecasters have issues winter storm watches and warnings, as well as blizzard watches for almost the entire state, but the Denver-based forecasters warned that, “Summit County could very well get sheltered again in this Front Range storm.” The forecasters also said the upper low might eject farther south than previously anticipated, which would push the heavier snow amounts farther south. Click here for the latest updates and links to all the warnings. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Breckenridge snow, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Colorado snow, Colorado weather, Front Range, Keystone snow, Monarch Pass, National Weather Service, Summit County snow | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 24, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Mountains could see a few more inches Tuesday night
Northeast winds delivered good snow to Colorado’s northeastern plains.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A storm rolling across the state Saturday night delivered the goods, with every ski area in Colorado reporting new snow Sunday morning. Totals (24 hour) ranged from 11 inches at Monarch to six inches and Wolf Creek and Steamboat, at opposite ends of the state. Most resorts in between also reported about a half a foot of new snow Sunday morning. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado skiing, Colorado snow, Colorado snow report, Colorado weather, snowpack | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 20, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Northwest, Southwest mountains seeing some drought relief
None of the state’s river basins has an average snowpack as of Feb. 15.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s snowpack is making a mini-comeback, with February snowfall running close to normal across the mountains, piling up at an average rate of 1 to 2 inches per day.
With another storm set to roll into the Rockies the second part of the week, some SNOTEL sites in the southwestern mountains could reach close to average for the first time this winter. But for now, the statewide snowpack is tracking behind last winter, at 75 percent of average as of Feb. 15.
The southwest corner of the state is reporting the highest readings, with the combined San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan reading at 89 percent of average, the Upper Rio Grande and 79 percent and the Gunnison Basin at 76 percent. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado snow, Colorado weather, drought, snowpack, water | 1 Comment »