DENVER — Recent heavy snowfall in Colorado has improved snowpack levels and drought conditions in most of the state, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Statewide, snowpack was at 133% of median levels compared to the 1991-2020 period and all but one of Colorado’s river basins are seeing a big boost in snowpack levels from January snowfall.
Four of the eight Colorado river basins — Yampa-White, Gunnison, San Miguel-Dolores-Animas-San Juan, and Laramie-North Platte — have seen a big boost in snowpack in just the past week.
The winter storm that swept through the state this weekend, bringing with it dangerously cold temperatures, dumped more than three feet of snow in some parts of the central and northern mountains.
The Yampa-White river basin was at 152% of median on Monday, which is 18.5 inches of snow-water equivalent. The Gunnison River basin shot up to 152% of median in the past week, which is more than a 7% increase from the prior week.
The San Miguel-Dolores-Animas-San Juan river basin was at 142% of median on Monday and the Laramie and North Platte river basins were at 137% of median.
The Upper Colorado Headwaters was at 134% of median or 12.5 inches of snow-water equivalent. The Upper Rio Grande was at 106% of median and the South Platte River basin was at 115% of median.
But the news isn’t all good for southeast Colorado. The Arkansas River basin sits at 84% of median or 5.6 inches of snow-water equivalent.
The recent storms have also put a major dent in drought conditions in Colorado. Little to no drought conditions persist in most of Colorado. “None” is indicated in large swaths of western and central Colorado, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
A chance for snow is in the forecast Monday with up to 2 inches possible along the I-25 corridor with Denver seeing light accumulation beginning in the afternoon and evening hours, said the NWS in Boulder.