Cool, wet April helps snowpack

DENVER – A good portion of Colorado’s snowpack is getting closer to normal after an unseasonably cool and wet April.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service said Monday that snow surveys on May 1 showed the statewide snowpack percentage climbed to 83 percent of the median, up from 74 percent on April 1.

The agency says peak snowpack totals for the state weren’t reached this year until April 24, or more than two weeks later than the long-term average date of peak accumulation.

However, the storms that hit northern Colorado in April largely missed Southwest Colorado, where snowpack levels remain far below average.

Melting snowpack helps provide water for municipalities and ranches to get through the summer. The Natural Resources Conservation Service says statewide reservoir storage volumes were 74 percent of average as of May 1.