Thursday, May 19, 2011

What a strange year it is for western snowpack!

Click to enlarge. La Nina is clearly visible here: anything south of about Tierra Amarilla, NM has really missed out (though it looks like the Whites in Arizona got a little love yesterday). The snowpack in the Great Basin and Utah is seriously insane, 300% of normal in a lot of areas, and normal is already a lot of snow in the Wasatch. It's going to be quite a year on the Idaho rivers, and a crazy awesome year on the Yampa.


Chas S. Clifton said...

That number for the Arkansas River drainage in SE Colorado (133 percent?) is misleading, since all the Snotel sites are in the high mountains.

The top of the drainage around Leadville has lots of snow, true. But the Sangre de Cristo range has less than normal, and the foothills and plains have been much drier than average.

Peculiar said...

Yeah, there are definitely some statistical anomalies represented, like the Cimarron headwaters and eastern Arizona sections. A couple inches of snow in those areas where average is basically nothing in late May produces some misleading percentage numbers. I assume that effect also accounts for the lowly 20% number in the Gila, which definitely has zero snowpack worth noting right now.