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North-central Colorado snowpack at second lowest level to date in 34 years

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 1:42pm MDT

The 2012 / 2013 snow season has been dismal and while December brought some hope for recovery, recent weeks have seen snowpack decline once again.  For the drought and fire weary state of Colorado the data does not bode well.

For the north-central Colorado mountains, the January 22 snowpack is at its second lowest level to date since 1979.  Only 1981 saw worse results this far into the season.

According to the latest Colorado SNOTEL reports, the South Platte, North Platte and Upper Colorado River basins are at 57%, 65% and 60% of normal respectively.  Statewide Colorado snowpack is a dismal 62% of average.

Is there hope?  Mother Nature certainly works on her own schedule so it is possible we could see a recovery.  However the latest 3-month outlook from the Climate Prediction Center forecasts warmer and drier than normal temperatures.

North-central Colorado snowpack through January 22. (NRCS)

North-central Colorado snowpack through January 22. Click the image for a larger view. (NRCS)

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