WeatherWeather Science


Colorado's snowpack starting to shrink after a lackluster start to November

Current Colorado snowpack -- 11/13/2019
Posted at 5:59 PM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 20:38:29-05

October turned out to be one of the snowiest on record not only in Southern Colorado, but also across our state's mountains. Some mountain areas received as much as 4 to 5 feet of snow in October, which initially led to massive gains in our state's snowpack levels.

October totals locally surpassed 12 inches in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo. However, November has started out much quieter, with only trace amounts reported in both locations.

Through the middle of November, the good news is that we're still running a surplus in both cities, with Pueblo nearly 10" above average.

Looking at our state's snowpack, numbers this month have been falling fast as the lack of snow the past few days takes a toll. The state's snowpack is now under 100% for the first time this season.

The Arkansas River Basin is at 98%, which isn't bad, but lower than last week at this time. The San Juans in southwestern Colorado are really struggling, with the current snowpack as low as 18%.

When it comes to November averages, we typically see between 4 and 5 inches of snow for the Springs and Pueblo. Trinidad averages 7.5 inches in November, while Leadville in Lake County averages almost 24 inches of snow.

Although it's been a slow start to the month, there's some hope in the long term.

While not an official forecast, the long range outlook from the Climate Prediction Center strongly shows a transition to a wetter pattern of weather later this month. The CPC shows a really good chance of above average precipitation in Southern Colorado from November 20-26, 2019.

Our First Alert5 weather team will keep you posted on the latest changes to your forecast all winter long both online and on-ar.