Western Slope snowpack still below normal

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Snowpack in river basins throughout western Colorado is well below average for Jan. 9, but the driest conditions are in the headwaters of the Roaring Fork, Fryingpan and Eagle rivers.

“There are a few sites in the Roaring Fork, Eagle and Gunnison basins that are at near-record lows for this time of the year,” said Ashley Nielson, hydrologist with NOAA’s Colorado River Basin Forecast Center in Salt Lake City, in a teleconference held Tuesday.

Remote snowpack telemetry sites in the upper Fryingpan basin and on Independence Pass show the worst readings. Nast Lake, at 8,700 feet in the upper Fryingpan, has just 11 inches of snow holding 1.1 inches of water, just 30 percent of normal for Jan. 9.

And the Independence Pass telemetry site at 10,600 feet has all of 19 inches of snow holding 3.2 inches of water, just 39 percent of normal.

The deepest snow in the whole Roaring Fork River basin is at Schofield Pass above Marble. Even there, the remote telemetry equipment recorded 39 inches of snow holding 10.3 inches of water, 66 percent of average.

Read the full story at the Glenwood Springs Post Independent's website.

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