Originally published on February 10, 2020 3:29 pm
It was a dry start to the year for some mountain ranges in the region, but recent storms brought most Mountain West snowpack levels back to normal.
Aside from a few patches, most of the Mountain West now is at or above 100% median snowpack. In other words: We’re right on track.
The region is about halfway through snowpack season, according to Brian Domonkos, a Colorado Snow Survey supervisor with the state’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“There is still a lot of year, a lot of the accumulation season, and things can change,” he cautioned.
Domonkos said we need to keep an eye on the snowpack because it can affect the region’s ecology and wildlife, like fish. Healthy levels also decrease the chance of seasonal wildfires when paired with some summer precipitation and limited heat.
And yes, he said having a lot of snow this time of year is also good for skiing and snowboarding.
“Storms are usually pretty cold in most locations, can come in pretty dry, and it gives you a lot of that powder, or even ‘cold smoke’ as they call it in some locations, to ski,” he said.
The Climate Prediction Center forecasts that our region will continue getting normal or slightly above-normal amounts of precipitation over the next few weeks.
Find reporter Madelyn Beck on Twitter @MadelynBeck8
Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.
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