Spring snowstorms often bring much needed moisture to the high country, and this past week we got a big boost to the snowpack. At our working headquarters we measured over 1.6 inches of moisture in less than a week, which is already about 110% of average for April.
As everyone in the State is aware, this year was beginning to look like a repeat of 2012, which also had a very low snowpack and an extremely dry spring. The early winter snowpack for 2013 in the Upper Colorado River Basin, as shown above, was looking even worse than last year, and March was only slightly better. Last week’s storms may not break the drought, but it will certainly help provide for a wetter spring, as many of the State’s SNOTEL sites measured high moisture content in the new snow.
The snow was a bit of a surprise to wildlife, especially migratory birds that have been showing up in the last few weeks. Big spring snows are certainly not unprecedented, however, and the payoff will come in May when emerging plants take advantage of the improved soil moisture.