Snowpack & Drought Update

6 am

Let’s start with the drought or what used to be the drought anyway. The wet winter has completely turned things around with most of our area in the D0 or D1.


The D0 classification is used when an area is emerging into drought conditions or recovering from a previous drought it is clear that we are not emerging into a drought.

Looking at the rest of the United States with the exception of an anomalous area in New Mexico the entire country looks good.


Here is the GFS forecast for liquid equivalent precipitation through March 31st.


I went back over the last 8 runs of the GFS and this latest run is a good average of those last 8, some of them had a little less and some had considerably more. There is only a slight chance of meaningful precipitation before next Wednesday or Thursday so the majority of this will fall the last 10 days of the month.

Here is the temperature outlook through the end of April, there are usually periods of above average and below average, this is if you take the entire 46 day period compared to average.


The snowpack is growing and growing. Here are the latest numbers as of last night.



A couple of things that jump off the page, Cascade is already past its average peak date and they only need 2.9 inches more (liquid equivalent) to reach 200% of seasonal median peak.

Stump Lakes which I believe feeds Lemon needs 9 inches liquid equivalent to hit 200%, the peak median date is April 16th. As near as I can tell that is approximately how much they have received over the last 30 days (11,200 feet).

Vallecito is in a similar situation requiring 8.7 inches of liquid equivalent to reach the 200% level. When I refer to Vallecito in this sense I am not referring to the area around the lake I am referring to the Snotel site at 10,880 feet.

Here is the 46-day liquid equivalent precipitation forecast for Durango (DRO).


This is the mean of 51 models that make up the Euro. 4.1 inches looks like a lot, however, the last 30 days 4.7″ have fallen at this location.

I know people are getting antsy for spring and warmer temps but for now, it looks like you will have to wait a while.

The models are trying to figure out next week. There is agreement on how it ends but not so much with how it starts. On Tuesday it looks like either a small system could bring light precipitation, or more than likely it is a piece of the next system which should arrive on Wednesday or Thursday, it is another subtropical moisture tap, which means snow levels will start elevated, although at this point I don’t expect them to be as high as they reached with the last storm.

Saturday and Sunday I will take a closer look at next week.


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