Thin Colorado snowpack reported again

May 22, 2006

Another warm and dry spring in Colorado has resulted in a thin snow pack possibly increasing risk of wildfires and parched farm fields, a report said.

Colorado mountain snow depths are way below average, with the snow already gone near some mountain treelines, and scattered areas expect to be entirely devoid of snow by Memorial Day, the Denver Post reported Monday.

"The snow pack that looked healthy six weeks ago is melting very fast," Klaus Wolter, a University of Colorado climatologist, told the newspaper. "We might end up with one of the earliest melt-offs ever."

Wolter says the state has been experiencing a yearly spring warming trend since 1995. He notes the "mud season" lasted into July during wet years. "This year we've had a few mud hours," he said. "That's it."

Although snow depths were above average in four of eight Colorado River basins last month, April was so dry and windy that some of the snow simply blew into the clouds instead of melting, The Post reported.

The past week has been so hot and dry that western Colorado already faces a "red-flag warning" for forest fires.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Icelandic volcano sits on massive magma hot spot

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A roly-poly pika gathers much moss

Dec 17, 2013

In some mountain ranges, Earth's warming climate is driving rabbit relatives known as pikas to higher elevations or wiping them out. But University of Utah biologists discovered that roly-poly pikas living ...

Home teams hold the advantage

Dec 09, 2013

The home team holds the advantage over visitors – at least in the plant world. However, a mere handful of genetic adaptations could even the playing field.

Recommended for you

Icelandic volcano sits on massive magma hot spot

8 minutes ago

Spectacular eruptions at Bárðarbunga volcano in central Iceland have been spewing lava continuously since Aug. 31. Massive amounts of erupting lava are connected to the destruction of supercontinents and ...

NASA sees Tropical Storm Ana still vigorous

2 hours ago

NASA's TRMM satellite saw that Tropical Storm Ana was still generating moderate rainfall is it pulled away from Hawaii. The next day, NASA's Aqua satellite saw that wind shear was having an effect on the ...

User comments : 0