Summit County: 5th-driest March on record

Temperatures averaged 6 to 8 degrees above average

By the end of March, most of the valleys were snow-free.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — This past month may not have been the driest March ever in the high country, but it was very close. At the official National Weather Service in Dillon, there was measurable precipitation on only four days (March 2,3,4 and 19), adding up to just 3 inches of snow and a paltry 0.20 inches of water, compared to the average 1.42 inches of water and 22 inches of snow.

Temperatures at the Dillon site veered even farther from average, with the average maximum temperature for the month soaring all the way to 47.6 degrees, more than 8 degrees above the long-term average of 39 degrees. The average low temperature for the month was 13.9 degrees, compared to the average 7.6 degrees.

The lack of precipitation and extremely warm temps were reflected by the dwindling snowpack, now down to less than half of average for this time of year.

The weather story was similar in Breckenridge, where long-time weather watcher Rick Bly recorded only 6.8 inches of snow for the month, melting down to just a bit more than a half inch of water (0.58 inches), the seventh-driest on the books.

Average snowfall for the year-to-date is 127 inches; this year’s total is 102 inches. The numbers aren’t quite as bad for snow-water equivalent, with a year-to-date total of 8.1 inches, compared to the average 9.4 inches, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Warm temps and wind melted the snowpack, and for the first time in 41 years, Bly said he didn’t have to shovel any snow off his roof in the middle of the month.


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