More wet snow needed to bolster snowpack

Snow in Northwest Colorado has less water than average

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— The wet snow that fell on the Park Range east of Steamboat Springs throughout the day Wednesday added to the water stored in the mountain snowpack, but it wasn’t enough to bring the number up to average.

The federal Natural Re­s­ource Conservation Service reported Wednesday that the snow in the mountains flanking the Yampa and White river basins contains 78 percent of the typical water content for this point in the winter.

The snowpack measuring station at 9,400 feet elevation on the west side of Rabbit Ears Pass stands at 61 percent of the average 10.7 inches of water for this date.

North of Steamboat, at 10,500 feet, the 17 inches of water stored in the snowpack is 78 percent of average.

Weather observer Art Judson, who has a weather station on Buffalo Pass, said the snow depth there Tuesday was 81 inches.

Judson measured 3.2 inches of snow at his official weather station between downtown Steamboat and the ski area as of Wednesday morning. The ski area was reporting 5.5 inches of snowfall in the preceding 24 hours as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

A series of medium-size snowstorms since Dec. 20 have resulted in excellent skiing conditions in Steamboat; however, the Natural Resource Conservation Service is most interested in gathering data about the water content of the snowpack — vital information to municipalities, agriculturists and other water users in distant states farther down the Colorado River system.

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