Winter in February
Despite unseasonably high temperatures earlier this month, a cold snap in late February has returned Blue Valley Ranch to winter stillness.
Overnight temperatures that are well below freezing leave the landscape covered in frost every morning, especially along the river corridor where humidity is high and cold air tends to settle.
An ice jam at the inlet to this stream caused a sudden drop in the water level overnight. Moisture from the splashing water then created these ice formations on overhanging snow banks. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence and one of many challenges of winter in the mountains since someone will have to work to break up the ice and return flow to the stream.
Although precipitation for February has been below normal, at about 75%, overall snowpack for the Colorado River Basin is still close to normal, at just over 90%, according to the National Water & Climate Center Weekly Update. (For the NWCC archives, visit their website and be sure to click on the interactive map to find the nearest snow or water monitoring station).
While near-normal snowpack is good news for the high country, a very dry March could drop that percentage very quickly and lead to drought conditions this spring and summer. So, while we all are getting tired of ice and cold this winter, we are still thinking snow for the next few weeks.