The snowpack in the basin encompassing the Animas, San Juan and Dolores rivers, while not the highest in the state,looks good compared with basins farther north and the state as a whole, statistics from the Natural Resources
Conservation Service show.
In the Animas/San Juan/
Dolores basin, the snowpack was 101 percent of its April 1 average and 116 percent compared with April 1 last year.
In the Gunnison, Colorado, South Platte, North Platte and Yampa/White basins, snowpacks ranged from 73 to
94 percent of average April 1 and from 70 to 97 percent of last year's snowpack on the same date. Statewide, the
snowpack was 88 percent of average April 1 and 92 percent compared with last year.
It's not unusual to see a difference between north and south," said Mike Gillespie of the Natural Resources
Conservation Service. El Niño conditions (warming of water in the eastern Pacific Ocean) tend to favor the southern
part of Colorado and farther south."
Even parts of New Mexico received heavy snow, Gillespie said.
The Arkansas and Rio Grande basins had the most snow compared with normal, the NRCS said. The Arkansas basin has 109
percent of its average April 1 snowpack and 113 percent of last year's total. The corresponding averages for the Rio
Grande basin were 115 and 119 percent.
Skiing ended Sunday at Telluride Ski Resort, but Durango Mountain Resort will open Friday through Sunday from
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as long as snow lasts, spokeswoman Beth Holland said. Weekday passes will be honored, she said.
Wolf Creek Ski Area closed Sunday, but it will open this Saturday and Sunday and
April 17-18 as local appreciation days," Roseanne Haidorfer-Pitcher said Monday.
We've had a lot of snow," Haidorfer-Pitcher said. We have received 416 inches this year."
The NRCS statement said precipitation has been below average every month since October in the Yampa/White, Colorado,North Platte and South Platte basins.
In a typical year, mountain snowpack totals reach their season maximum during April," the statement said. This leaves
only a few weeks where improvements can be made. Given the current deficit across northern Colorado, the odds of
reaching average remain at less than 10 percent."
Reservoir storage continues to be near average, however, with the state overall at
106 percent of the April 1 average and 103 percent of last year's amount. The Animas/
San Juan/Dolores basin had the lowest reservoir storage,
87 percent of average and
81 percent of last year.