Craig hit with heavy snowfall since November
Totals strain removal efforts, but boost recreation conditions
During a winter full of snowfall, Craig is covered in snow piles ranging in depth.
Since Nov. 1, Craig has accumulated more than 40 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. While the highest snowfall on record was over 70 inches during the same months in 1983 and 1984, this winter has been memorable.
“This is the biggest winter that I can remember in Craig, and that’s going back to the mid ‘80s when I was just getting into snowboarding,” said Jon Miller, a Craig resident.
Since early December, the Craig Road and Bridge Department has been working daily to keep the city’s roads clear from snow buildup, while local residents have had to work to keep their own walkways, driveways and mailboxes clear.
“I never thought I would say this, but I was starting to get sick of the snow,” Miller said. “If you know me, that is something you would never hear me say in my life.”
Looking around Craig, there is about 4-5 feet of snowpack with snow piles around town that have grown into small mountains. Miller said he’s scoped out Cedar Mountain for recreation — where there is consistently 4-5 feet of snowpack with drifts climbing to 6 or 7 feet.
Miller said he really just wishes he had more time to go out and ride this season, as he has been busy shoveling snow, running a business and working on other community endeavors.
“I am such a winter-lover growing up here,” Miller said. “My career involved chasing winter all over North America. Craig is world class — record setting. This is the most phenomenal snow conditions I have seen ever.”
Regionally, the Yampa Valley is experiencing some of its heaviest snowfall in years, which has boosted skiing in Steamboat Springs and created a paradise for backcountry enthusists and snowmobilers in Moffat County.
A few weeks ago, Miller was riding his snowmobile on Black Mountain, and his riding buddy’s machine got stuck in several feet of snow. After they got the machine dug out, Miller said he stuck his 327 centimeter avalanche probe — the longest probe available — into the snow, and it was buried all the way to the ground. The probe measured about 10.5 feet of snow, and Miller said that wasn’t even on top of the mountain.
The National Water and Climate Center is reporting that the current snow water equivalent is 152% above average in Yampa and White River Basins. The snow-water equivalent measures the depth of water that would cover the ground if the snow were in a liquid state, and it is used to predict how much water will be going into the waterways from snowmelt.
Drought researchers across the state are still saying it’s too early to tell how the heavy Colorado snowfall will affect the regional water supply later this year.
Overnight temperatures fell into the minus 30s and 40s on Monday, Jan. 30. Additionally, Tuesday, Jan 31, had a low temperature of minus 24.
The low temperatures aren’t predicted to rise above zero until Friday, Feb. 3. Even with the low temperatures this week, Moffat County is seeing sunshine and a reprieve from shoveling and snowfall until next week.
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