Feb 3, 2011 7:42 AM by Bea Karnes
DENVER (AP)-A dry January significantly decreased Colorado's snowpack, which contributes about 80 percent of the water in the state's waterways.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service released figures Wednesday showing that the state's overall snowpack was 117 percent of average Feb. 1, down from 136 percent a month earlier. But federal officials say the year's snowpack is heftier than the same time a year ago.
The latest snow surveys by the federal agency found snowpack decreases in all the major river basins in the state. Basins in southwest Colorado were the driest in January, getting only a quarter of the normal precipitation. Snowpack there dropped from 144 percent of average in January to 106 percent of average the start of February.
The snowpack percentage is measured against a 30-year average.