Breckenridge moisture now above average for the year

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.

The wettest April on record was 1900, with 72.5 inches of snow. More recently, April 1995 brought 54.3 inches, the third-snowiest April on record.

“That’s really significant, considering what a terrible abyss we were in,” Bly said, adding that the lingering snow and cool conditions will help delay the onset of the fire season in the high country.

As 0f April 30, year-to-date snowfall was at 151.7 inches for the year, just a shade below the average of 153 inches. It’s the first time since the Oct. 1 start of the water year that the seasonal total has been above average at one of the two official National Weather Service sites in Summit County.

At 17 inches, May snowfall has already surpassed the average for the month, which 10.9 inches.

In Dillon, total snowfall for the month was 29 inches, seven inches above the long-term average for April, with a snow-water equivalent of 1.96 inches, compared to the average 1.61 inches.

The average daily maximum temperature of 42.7 at Dillon was exactly 5 degrees below the average, and the average daily minimum temperature was 15.3 degrees, 2 degrees below the long-term average.

Highs at the Dillon observation station climbed into the 50s only six times, and finally reached the 60s on the last two days of the month.


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