After a huge week of snowfall across most of the state, Colorado’s statewide snowpack levels are back above average.
As of Monday’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) update, Colorado statewide snowpack levels were running at 117% of the season-to-date levels, meaning that statewide snow levels are slightly above average.
Each of Colorado’s eight major river basins were running above average, according to the NRCS update. That’s also an indication that the overall seasonal snowfall has been fairly well distributed so far this winter, with northern Colorado receiving the brunt of October and early November snowstorms, and southern Colorado getting most of its snow in the last two to three weeks.
The main driver behind the recent uptick in snow levels? A needed whopper of a snowstorm in southwest Colorado late last week. Some parts of the drought-stricken San Juan mountains saw as much as 3.5 feet of snowfall from last week’s storm. That helped boost snowpack percentages in southern Colorado well above average, while also boosting overall statewide levels.
Snowfall totals from the November 27-30 storm – the southern mountains were the big winner with SNOTELs estimating over 30 inches of #snow. The Abajos picked up an average of 40 to 60 inches! #cowx #utwx pic.twitter.com/zs9VzB8dpK
— NWS Grand Junction (@NWSGJT) December 1, 2019
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Snow levels had dropped off in recent weeks, following a slow early-to-mid November across most of Colorado. According to the NRCS, statewide snowpack levels had dropped marginally below average from the second week of November through Nov. 27, when a series of big storms began moving through Colorado.
Snowpack levels so far this winter are almost identical to the start of last winter’s season-to-date totals. That said, last year’s huge snowpack mostly came from an unusually active spring.