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Colorado Snowpack Healthy - But Southern Basins Need To Catch Up

This map shows snowpack levels above average everywhere but southern Colorado

Snowpack levels in most of Colorado are above average for the first time in three years – but that’s not the case across all parts of the state. 

Although the northern and central mountains have seen a series of potent storms this winter, far less snow has fallen in the southern portion of Colorado.

Mage Hultstrand measures snowpack for the USDA’s Colorado Snow Survey Program. If spring snowstorms deliver, she says it’s still possible for the area to catch up with the rest of the state.

"The southwest portion of the state and then also the Upper Rio Grande basins both received well above normal accumulation during end of January, early part of February,” Hulstrand told Colorado News Connection. "They just need another couple of storms like that and they'll be right back to normal conditions."

Late-spring snow is not uncommon for the state (remember that May 1 snowstorm last year?) Hultstrand notes that about 20 percent of Colorado's annual snowpack typically comes during March. 

According to the latest data, snowpack levels range from 142 percent of normal in the South Platte River basin, to 82 percent of normal in the Upper Rio Grande.

As host of KUNC's Colorado Edition, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. And because life is best when it's a balance of work and play, I love finding stories that highlight culture, music, the outdoors, and anything that makes Colorado such a great place to live.
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