More snow on the way |

More snow on the way

National Weather Service: River basin flow on the rise

Bridget Manley

— If weather predictions from the National Weather Service prove true, Moffat County residents may be shoveling their way into a warm, wet spring.

“The odds favor above-average temperatures” in Northwest Colorado in February and March, NWS forecaster Jim Pringle said.

The temperature increases “may not be that noticeable for people” until early summer, Pringle said.

The Weather Service predicts near-normal snowfall for most of Northwest Colorado. Northern Moffat County, however, could receive more snow than usual, Pringle said.

Although slightly warmer temperatures could continue throughout the summer, the weather service predicts lower-than-average precipitation from April until June, Pringle said.

Predicted temperature and possible snowfall increases follow last month’s higher-than-average precipitation that boosted every major river basin in Colorado, the Natural Resources Conservation Service reported.

An observation station four miles south of Craig recorded a total 22.3 inches of snowfall last month, Pringle said. The area’s average snowfall in January is about 15 inches, according to a NWS report.

The weather service added that Craig’s December snowfall topped out at more than 34 inches.

Snow showers this winter have raised river levels throughout the state, including in the Yampa River, recent Natural Resources Conservation Service snow surveys indicate.

“Even those basins across Northern Colorado, which had previously reported below average snow pack totals this season, are now at near-average levels,” the NRCS reported.

Precipitation in the Yampa and White River basin currently measures 114 percent of its yearly average, according to a NRCS snow and precipitation update released Friday.

The snow pack will create “an excellent runoff season” during the spring and summer months, the NRCS reported.

While snowfall levels are tracking above average, reservoir levels across the state are holding steady.

“Reservoir storage across Colorado continues to track at near average levels for this date,” the NRCS reported. “Statewide, reservoir storage is 99 percent of average and is 105 percent of last year’s storage volumes.”

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