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Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:31 PM

Thin Western Snowpack, Uncertain Storm Tracks Hobbling Economic Outlook For Rocky Mountain States



The total extent of the persistent national drought receded slightly during the past week, but in many places, conditions look no better now than they did when winter began. In particular, thin snow cover in some Western states is raising concerns that the drought’s impacts in some of the hardest-hit regions will only worsen when temperatures increase and evaporation rates rise in the spring.

Between January 15-22, the amount of land in the lower 48 states experiencing drought conditions shrank slightly, from 58.87 percent to 57.64 percent, thanks largely to precipitation that brought relief to parts of the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Southeast. Some of that fell in the form of snow, particularly in parts of Virginia. This marked the 31st straight week in which more than half of the continental U.S. was considered under “moderate” drought conditions or worse by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

EDIT

Currently, the snow cover in Colorado is sparser, and thinner than it is in an average year. Parts of the Rocky Mountains have less than half of the snow cover than they usually do at this time of year. The snow-water-equivalent in parts of the state, a measurement of how much water would be released if the snow melted, is estimated to be as low as 3.7 inches, where the median amount is 9.6 inches. The statewide average snow-water-equivalent is less than 60 percent of normal, as estimated by the SNOTEL network from the National Resources Conservation Service.

“In terms of our normal snow accumulation season, we are way behind the average,” said Nolan Doesken, a Colorado State climatologist in an interview. “We’re just a little past the midpoint of our normal snow accumulation season and there is a substantial and sufficient shortfall of snow. It would take about 150 percent of the average snow, or more, for the remainder of the winter to catch up.”

EDIT

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/low-snowfall-in-west-raises-concerns-about-drought-recovery-15513

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Reply Thin Western Snowpack, Uncertain Storm Tracks Hobbling Economic Outlook For Rocky Mountain States (Original post)
hatrack Jan 2013 OP
pscot Jan 2013 #1
niyad Jan 2013 #2

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:51 PM

1. Western Washington has been having

a dry winter. We had water problems during a dry spell back in the 80's. There are more than twice as many people living here now.

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:26 PM

2. my community is in a drought--watering restrictions begin 1 april--and the pols are approving

fracking in this county. they have yet to answer "where the HELL is the water coming from?"

several days ago it was 70, could snow tonight (this is typical around here)

did not look to confirm, but someone told me it was 70 in breckenridge a few days ago. SEVENTY in breckenridge.

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