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: Science report: Who gets hotter, wetter with climate change

Related Stories

Measuring biological dust in the wind

June 21, 2017

In the popular children's story "Horton Hears a Who!" author Dr. Seuss tells of a gentle and protective elephant who stumbles upon a speck of dust that harbors a community of microscopic creatures called the Whos living the ...

Snow science supporting our nation's water supply

February 16, 2017

Researchers have completed the first flights of a NASA-led field campaign that is targeting one of the biggest gaps in scientists' understanding of Earth's water resources: snow.

Dry soil to absorb some snowmelt heading to Colorado River

April 22, 2016

Storms brought deep snow to the mountains that feed the vital Colorado River this winter and spring, but the dried-out landscape will soak up some of the runoff before it can reach the river and the 40 million people depending ...

NASA snow data that helps California put to work in Colorado

September 30, 2015

NASA is providing drought-stricken California with valuable data about how much water is locked up in the scant Sierra Nevada snow, and now Colorado is trying the technique in the mountains where the Rio Grande begins its ...

Recommended for you

Hot spot at Hawaii? Not so fast

August 18, 2017

Through analysis of volcanic tracks, Rice University geophysicists have concluded that hot spots like those that formed the Hawaiian Islands aren't moving as fast as recently thought.

Supervolcanoes: A key to America's electric future?

August 16, 2017

Most of the lithium used to make the lithium-ion batteries that power modern electronics comes from Australia and Chile. But Stanford scientists say there are large deposits in sources right here in America: supervolcanoes.

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up

August 16, 2017

Flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet is likely to speed up in the future, despite a recent slowdown, because its outlet glaciers slide over wet sediment, not hard rock, new research based on seismic surveys has confirmed. This ...

Climate change will cut crop yields: study

August 15, 2017

Climate change will have a negative effect on key crops such as wheat, rice, and maize, according to a major scientific report out Tuesday that reviewed 70 prior studies on global warming and agriculture.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.