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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kurz

Current Snow Standings

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

How does the current snowpack in the Southern San Juans stack up against the worst 4 years in recent history? This graph shows the season-long accumulation of the snowpack at the Upper San Juan SNOTEL site near the summit of Wolf Creek Pass. I included the 30-year median to compare the bad years to a normal year. 2018 is the red line.

After the snowpack more than doubled in mid February, March has started off with a lull in moisture. Currently, we are nearly tied with 1990 and 2000 for the second lowest snowpack in recent history, which equates to 50% of the historic median. Fortunately, moisture is supposed to arrive tomorrow and later next week.

The low elevation snowpack has nearly disappeared, and there's only a trickle of runoff entering the uptown lakes. Fortunately, PAWSD has been filling Lake Hatcher over the winter via a diversion on Fourmile Creek and it's nearly at full capacity. Lake Hatcher is an important drinking water supply reservoir for much of the area.

Statewide, Colorado is 68% of normal, and the southern watersheds are still the lowest in the state. The last 3 winters have had strong late season moisture and hopefully this year will continue that trend.

Percent of Median Snow Water Equivalent in Colorado's Major Watershed (NRCS)

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