Dry Stretch for the Mountains

Photo from October 2016. View from 14,000ft.

Photo from October 2016. View from 14,000ft.

COLORADO – It’s going to be a mild & dry opening weekend for A-Basin.  That’s been the pattern most of this Fall season in Colorado’s mountains with only quick-hitting snowfalls followed by rapid, prolonged warm-ups.

The graphic below shows where most of the snow has been falling in the last couple months.  The red dots show drier than average areas while the blue dots show snowier than average areas.  Wyoming, Idaho, northern Utah, and northern Colorado are receiving the most consistent snowfalls.
tomer-snowpack-west-co-ut-wy
During these abnormally warm and dry stretches we lean heavily on reservoir storage to fulfill our water needs.  The graphic below shows the current state of Colorado’s reservoir storage.  Overall, the statewide average is close to 100%, but there are certainly a few reservoirs below 100% in-need of moisture soon.
reservoir-storage-co
A dry start to ski season is not that unusual, but the thing that is most striking are the rapid and prolonged warm-ups following the snow.  Inevitably, the pattern will change and true Winter will start.

-Meteorologist Chris Tomer