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Old 04-23-2013, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,754 posts, read 16,450,212 times
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Neditate wrote: This is the coldest damned April I can recall. We had a low of 9 degrees this morning. It's only 20 now.

Time to fire up the ole woodstove! I'm bitching, whining, moaning, and complaining about walking in 52 degree temperatures over here in GJ, which is not that bad except when walking into the relentless wind. It just never stops. I can imagine that you would indeed be cold in 20 degree temps. A few days of 70s would be good medicine! It's in the weekend forecast, but we'll have to wait and see if it pans out in reality.

 
Old 04-23-2013, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
1,993 posts, read 4,182,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzco View Post
So true.
Look on the bright side - usually the late April snow strips the leaves and kills the buds on the newly leafed out trees - this year it has been so cold, the trees don't have leaves yet.

Another good thing is that because of the cold temps the snow is very light and fluffy, not the normal wet, heavy back-breaking stuff we get in April. Shoveling hasn't been too bad at all. The sun is shining now so we'll let it take care of most of it.

Gah! It's snowing again an hour later.

Last edited by Neditate; 04-23-2013 at 03:26 PM.. Reason: update
 
Old 04-23-2013, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
1,993 posts, read 4,182,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
Neditate wrote: This is the coldest damned April I can recall. We had a low of 9 degrees this morning. It's only 20 now.
Time to fire up the ole woodstove! I'm bitching, whining, moaning, and complaining about walking in 52 degree temperatures over here in GJ, which is not that bad except when walking into the relentless wind. It just never stops. I can imagine that you would indeed be cold in 20 degree temps. A few days of 70s would be good medicine! It's in the weekend forecast, but we'll have to wait and see if it pans out in reality.
Hey, windchill sucks! Don't I know it. Fortunately we have not had as much wind over here as we normally do. As long as the sun is shining the cold doesn't bother me but it's been unusually overcast or upslopey. Fifteen days so far this month. It's like Mother Nature took the calendar and switched around the months just to mess with us.
 
Old 04-23-2013, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,102 posts, read 20,348,297 times
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It looks like Pueblo and Colorado Springs will set a new record low high today. The records are 40 in Pueblo and 32 in Colorado Springs. Currently is 27 in Pueblo and 26 in Colorado Springs.
 
Old 04-25-2013, 11:24 PM
 
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Looks like when it all shakes out, it will be a normal year. And still there is the potential for more storms for a few more weeks. I'll be in Colorado again very shortly so it will be interesting to see how it all looks up in the mountains.
 
Old 04-26-2013, 06:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Looks like when it all shakes out, it will be a normal year. And still there is the potential for more storms for a few more weeks. I'll be in Colorado again very shortly so it will be interesting to see how it all looks up in the mountains.
Incorrect. Most of the state is still well below normal for the 2012-2013 water year. The western and southern parts of Colorado are still especially hard hit, and streamflows are going to be far below normal. Reservoir storage is now at near record lows, with little improvement expected in most of them this year. That is not "normal" in any sense of the word. As an example of how critical things are, we are entering what would normally be the high runoff season in the southern Rockies, and Rio Grande River is flowing so little that it is a dry riverbed by the time it reaches southern New Mexico.

This, from the 4/23 Drought Monitor from the Climate Prediction Center:

Quote:
Severe Drought (D2) was expanded in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, as well as neighboring environs, to reflect water-year precipitation values that have dropped to nearly 50 percent of normal as well as SWE (snow water equivalent) which dropped into the 10th percentile or lower (corresponding precipitation rankings were at or below the 5th percentile). One exception was the central Rockies, where a late-season snow storm (locally more than 2 inches liquid equivalent) eased drought in central and northern Colorado.
"Eased" drought in central and northern Colorado means that drought improved from Severe to Moderate, not that it went away, according the Climate Prediction Center map.

The CPC prediction through the end of July is equally somber:

Quote:
Drought is forecast to persist for much of the West and expand across northern California and southern Oregon.
The Front Range-centered media was crowing about the latest storms, but the fact is that they were relatively localized in that area and did nothing to benefit most of the rest of Colorado. I know--I was out there in the middle of it.
 
Old 04-26-2013, 08:46 AM
 
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Well, something good most have come from this last gasp, as Denver Water cancelled the draining of Antero stating the recent snowstorms have filled their other reservoirs.

However, my local fishing hole looks like it is going to dry up. I don't think there is a spot deeper than 4 feet at this point.

I think I'm with Wanneroo on this one though. This was a normal winter year ... it just didn't make up for the shortage of last year (which is where Jazzlover seems to be confused, a normal winter won't make for a return to normalcy, as we're already behind)
 
Old 04-26-2013, 09:41 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethehighcountry View Post
I think I'm with Wanneroo on this one though. This was a normal winter year ... it just didn't make up for the shortage of last year (which is where Jazzlover seems to be confused, a normal winter won't make for a return to normalcy, as we're already behind)
Well, the "Front Range mentality" is alive and well. If things are anywhere close to normal on the Front Range, that means that the other 70,000 square miles of the state must be "normal," too.

Note the latest SnoTel map from 4/24 (the link to the graphic may update beyond this as time passes). The northern half of the state is near normal to a little above for snowpack, the southern half is well below normal. Anything below 80% is considered a severe deficit, anything below 70% is considered pretty extreme. Given the very low reservoir storage levels and severe soil moisture deficits that much of the state was experiencing going into the 2012-13 winter, the statewide water conditions for the summer of 2013 will be nothing to celebrate.

The best news out of the recent snows is that the fire danger in the northern half of Colorado may be lessened at least for the first half of the summer. Southern Colorado is, however, entering the driest warm season months of the year for that area (May and June) with almost no snowpack left to improve soil moisture conditions. That is very bad news for the fire season there.

ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/CO/Sno...pdate_snow.pdf
 
Old 04-26-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Earth
1,442 posts, read 3,569,857 times
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All should ponder the future implications of this ...

Snow, no longer so white — High Country News
 
Old 04-26-2013, 11:50 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,835,868 times
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Wink Hardly normal

"Current dust deposition remains 500 times pre-settlement levels, and contributors to the problem include grazing, development, off-highway vehicles, and drilling." [1]


There was little normal about this winter. Evidenced by north central Colorado having to wait until the middle of April, and well into spring, before receiving decidedly the two best snow storms of the season. If certainly welcome, it would have been nice to receive some of that snow in, well, winter.

I see where the Upper Colorado Basin Snowpack (i.e. Rocky Mountain National Park & Colorado River basin) has recently taken a sharp swing upward from about 70% of normal to, today, 91.94%. It is now slightly declining, having been a bit higher yesterday.

Indeed, now the peaks in RMNP look more like one would expect and hope this time of year verging into summer. But two weeks ago, relatively little snow. So still the question to what extent of a normal snowpack we have there; by May and June it should be quite clear. For now the local rivers are up some from all this recent snowmelt at lower elevations. But by peak of runoff in early June, they remain the best indicator.

Still not even two weeks ago one could have been excused in looking at the Front Range Mountains from I-25 and believing Colorado's winter was more than alive and well: all was white from mountains out onto the plains. This aspect extended far south along that interstate, with seemingly only Pueblo as an unaccountable island of brown. Walsenburg had snow, Pueblo largely did not.

And all the more clear once crossing La Veta Pass how white the crest of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains were. This in contrast to the still dry valley floor of the San Luis Valley. It appeared as if this storm had bypassed the valley to begin in earnest with the Sangre de Cristo and then east. But at least for now some welcome snow there, if heavily only above a certain high elevation beginning about where the lowest dips in the range are (i.e. Great Sand Dunes NP & Preserve). I've seen the Sangre de Cristo in years past, come summer, when it retained very little snow at any elevation, especially in comparison to other mountain ranges in this state.

To the west of the SLV, the higher peaks of the southeast San Juan appeared to have received some of this new snow. But not to the extent of northern Colorado or the Front Range. Overall the land seemed fairly dry for that time of year. Over the course of days there were occasionally dark strands of precipitation in the distance to higher peaks. Even on the valley floor briefly a heavy snowfall of graupel.

Nevertheless—as seemingly all rivers in Colorado—the Rio Grande River is well down. In a month it will be far more apparent to what extent below normal, if at all. But for now it remains as lovely as ever in the mountains near its headwaters—but with a good many feet to rise if ever reaching its customary flood stage as shown by the banks. For now it is tranquil, and seemingly with no thought of rising towards spring.

The same could be said of the Arkansas River, and for now any river rafter would find it a very rocky and bumpy course down. Yet to its headwaters and beyond over Fremont Pass and there is hope. It has certainly snowed there, and all remains a winter wonderland. The snow lies thick and heavy.

As the article helpfully referenced by another points out, this natural cycle has been heavily influenced by us. If a heavy coat of dust over the San Juan and beyond, then not by accident. A sign of what has been disturbed. And that which will melt all snow covered all the faster. Or as not obviously seen in the soot emissions from coal-fired power plants, as far removed as China, which will still have the same effect. If all are natural cycles and will vary, then we have interfered and in some decided ways altered and magnified what might otherwise naturally occur.

No, far from a normal winter. And by best evidence but a precursor of that to come.

1) 'Snow, no longer so white,' High Country News
Snow, no longer so white — High Country News
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