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Drought still on despite snowy April

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The 72-hour snow fall totals from the National Weather Service on Wednesday April 17.

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The 72-hour snow fall totals from the National Weather Service on Wednesday April 17.
The 72-hour snow fall totals from the National Weather Service on Wednesday April 17.

DENVER — Even with several big snow events this month and last, Colorado is still likely facing a drought this summer.

“We need 10 more feet of snow on the Divide, just to get to normal,” said meteorologist Chris Tomer. “We have had three or four summers where water levels have been very low.

“Fires and irrigation are using up reservoir water on the eastern plains, and because there are 40 million users of Colorado River water down-stream out-of-state, some are even calling the Continental Divide feed river the ‘most endangered’ in the nation,” Tomer said. “We need snow in the high country before the end of the month.”

The snow on the plains is killing flowers, but we need the moisture none the less. Still, this water we are getting here is just being absorbed into the ground and won’t have lasting effects past a few weeks.

Those happiest about the falling flakes are Colorado ski resorts. Arapahoe Basin is slated to be open until June 2 and Loveland will close in late May. A handful of other resorts will begin reopening on weekends until the snow wears out or simply stops falling.

There are good deals at Copper–$40 lift tickets. Vail and Breckenridge are offering $25 tickets to those who have other passes, and $50 for everyone else.

State Parks told us several reservoirs have opened for boating already and others will follow, but if conditions turn for the worse, as they did last summer, boating will be cut off in lakes where boat ramps are above the water level.

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