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Summit County: March delivers moisture surplus

Season-long snow totals still lagging

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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.

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. Continue reading

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February snowfall near average in Summit County

Temps run well below normal at Dillon weather station

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A satellite photo from the NASA Earth Observatory collection shows extensive snow cover prevailed across parts of Colorado after storms in late January and early February. Click here to learn more about this image.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Temperatures in at least parts of Summit County ran well below average in February, while snowfall totals were near average for the month at the two official National Weather Service reporting sites in Breckenridge and Dillon.

In Breckenridge, long-time weather observer Rick Bly said he tallied 25.4 inches of snow for the month. The long-term average is 23.5 inches. The snow-water equivalent was also slightly above average, at 1.88 inches compared to 1.71 inches.

The snowfall, combined with cool temperatures, helped maintain the snowpack but didn’t make much of a dent in the seasonal deficit. For the year to-date (starting Oct. 1), snowfall is still about 30 percent below average, at 69,5 inches. The average, based on records going back to the late 1800s, is 101.5 inches. Continue reading

Summit County: Sixth-snowiest winter on record

The winter's big snows are slowly melting.

April precip well above average and cooler than normal

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Nearly double the average April snowfall in Breckenridge helped push the winter to the sixth-snowiest on record, according to National Weather Service observer Rick Bly, who measured 42 inches of snow last month. By comparison, Bly measured 26.4 inches in April 2010.

Standing on its own, April 2011 was the 12th snowiest. The all-time record is 72.5 inches in 1900, with some other notable April snow totals coming 1995 (54.3 inches), 1997 (49.3 inches) and 1989, with 46.1 inches, according to Bly, who maintains records dating back to the late 1800s.

For the weather year to-date (beginning Oct. 1) the snowfall total at Bly’s weather station is 208 inches, 31 percent above the average 158.2 inches. The snow-water equivalent is even higher — 17.96 inches for the season compared to average of 11.53 inches. that’s 55 percent above the norm, with every month so far bringing above-average moisture. Last year at the end of April, the season snowfall total 124.6 inches, 81 percent of average. Continue reading

Summit County: Above average snow 5 months straight

Late-March snowfall helped maintain the statewide snowpack at about 115 percent of average as of April 1.

Statewide snowpack holding steady at the start of spring

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — In a 180-degree turn-around from last winter, both local National Weather Service sites reported above average precipitation during March, with 1.64 inches of liquid precipitation at the Dillon location (average is 1.44 inches), and 2.78 inches in downtown Breckenridge, about 45 percent above the average 1.91 inches for the month.

Last year, March precipitation at the Dillon site was a mere 0.66 inches, less than half the average. In Breckenridge, precipitation in March 2010 totaled 1.58 inches, about 82 percent of the historic average. All these totals are the snow-water equivalent in the snowpack. This year, there was measurable snow on 17 days during March at the Dillon site.

Breckenridge weather watcher Rick Bly said March 2011 was the fifth month in a row with above-average readings. But precipitation was well below normal until March 27. Nearly all the moisture came during the last four days of the month. Continue reading

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