Summit County snowfall above average in December

Snowpack still lagging behind average and behind last year

Buffalo Mountain Summit County Colorado
December 2012 snowfall was slightly above average in Colorado. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — December snowfall in Summit County was just slightly above average at both official observation sites, with Breckenridge weather watcher Rick Bly tallying 25. 3 inches for the month, just about 3 inches more than the average based on records going back more than 100 years.

In Dillon, Denver Water observers reported 22.5 inches of snow in December. The average, based on records going back to 1909, is 17.5 inches.

For the  weather year to date in Breckenridge, Bly said he’s recorded 37.3 inches, which is 67 percent of the average 55.6 inches, and just barely ahead of last year’s 34.8 inches for the season. Weather watchers start their year on Oct. 1, in case you were wondering.

While the snow total at Breckenridge may be shy of average, that snow melted down to about 4.31 inches of water, which, surprisingly, is just ahead of the seasonal average.

January isn’t a particularly snowy month, but good things can happen. The all-time record January snowfall was 80.2 inches way back in the record-setting winter of 1899. But the second-snowiest January on record wasn’t all that long ago — 1996 brought 71.8 inches of the white stuff.

December high temperatures were fairly close to average for the month, according to the Denver Water records, with the average daily maximum temperature at 32.7 degrees, just 0.1 degrees above the long-term average. But nighttime lows were quite a bit warmer than normal. The average daily minimum temperature was 4.4 degrees, more than 3 degrees above the average of 1.2 degrees.




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