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Early season snowpack off to a good start

SNOTEL Snowpack
Posted at 10:17 AM, Nov 17, 2020

It might be dry here in southern Colorado, but we've actually had pretty good snow in the mountains over the last month!

Snow Depth.jpg

Snow depth estimations across Colorado's high country range from a couple of inches in the lower elevations to around 30 or so inches in the bigger mountains like the San Juans and La Garitas.

Last Saturday, a powerful winter storm dumped heavy snow throughout the I-70 corridor, shutting down the interstate for a time.

The two newest ski areas to open, Loveland and Breckenridge, both saw snow over the weekend. Loveland reported the best snow with almost 10 inches measured from Saturday through Sunday morning.

Unfortunately, Monarch Mountain was not able to grab very much snow and opening date had to be moved back past November 20th. You can read more from the General Manager of Monarch here.

SNOTEL Snowpack
Updated as of 11/16/2020

Monarch Mountain is located in the Gunnison River Basin, which has struggled the most for snow so far. Of the main mountain ranges, the San Juans and La Garitas have the best snowpack right now.

Drought Monitor

Despite normal snowpack levels out west, the majority of Colorado is still experiencing extreme to exceptional drought.

Southern Colorado, particularly the La Garitas, Sangre De Cristos, and Wet Mountains, are all doing quite well compared to the western and northern slopes.

What we need is several heavy snowstorms not only in the mountains, but here in the plains. We are in a La Nina phase right now, which favors drier winter trends.

We will need to remain vigilant when fire advisories, like Red Flag Warnings, are issued, and just hope for more snow!