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Colorado San Juan mountains on track to beat snowpack record

Snow Water Equivalent San Juans March 23, 2023
Posted at 11:56 AM, Mar 23, 2023

As of March 23rd, the San Juan mountain range has surpassed the season-to-date snowpack record. With more snow to come, the seasonal record may be broken this year.

The San Juan mountain snowpack, specifically the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, and San Juan basin measures 29.9" of snow water equivalent, surpassing the previous March 23rd record of 29.2" from 1993. Snow water equivalent (SWE) measures the amount of water that the snowpack would equate to when melted down.

Snow Water Equivalent San Juans March 23, 2023
USDA & NRCS snow water equivalent for the San Miguel-Dolores-Animas-San Juan basin

Data collected by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which is part of the USDA, mark the record peak SWE for this basin to be 32" on April 9th. The average peak snowpack is April 2nd at about 17.5" SWE.

Snowpack began near normal this season before drastically jumping after the start of the new year, leading to where we are today.

As we near the average peak snowpack, more snow is in the forecast. In the next week, which takes us to the end of March, Wolf Creek ski area is expected to receive about another foot of snowfall. That would add around 1 inch of liquid equivalent snowpack. Another 1-2 feet of snow into the first half of April could put the San Juans on top for the most snowpack on record.

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