Regional snowpack at 44 percent of last winter's level

By Brent Gardner-Smith, Aspen Journalism
Real AspenDecember 31, 2011
Here’s a graphic look at the below-average snowfall the upper Colorado River basin is experiencing so far this winter.

The graph below, from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, shows that our regional snowpack, as of Dec. 30, is well below the level of snow we enjoyed in 2011, and is also below the level of snow at this time in 2010 and 2009.

The thick blue line on the lower left of the graph represents this year’s snowpack in the upper Colorado River basin, which includes the Roaring Fork River watershed and the Aspen area.

The thick red line represents the average snowpack for the winter. And the thin blue line shows last year’s snowpack, when the Aspen area and most of northern Colorado was awash in snow.

The statistics shown on the upper left-hand corner of the chart show that the snowpack in the upper Colorado River basin is 44 percent of last year’s snowpack and 63 percent of average, as of Dec. 30.

The data is based on “snow water equivalent,” which according to the Conservation Service, “is a common snowpack measurement. It is the amount of water contained within the snowpack. It can be thought of as the depth of water that would theoretically result if you melted the entire snowpack instantaneously.”

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Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
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