U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-19-2010, 02:15 PM
 
1,742 posts, read 2,622,844 times
Reputation: 1923

Advertisements

Right now the snowpack in central and northern CO is just over that of 2002.
That was the worst drought in recent history. Could be an interesting summer for wildfires. Might be the summer of "the big one". RP
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-19-2010, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,041 posts, read 98,964,874 times
Reputation: 31527
Or not. The winter isn't over till it's over.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2010, 03:20 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,134,776 times
Reputation: 9066
There is no pat answer about what things will look like by summer. Typically, the late winter and spring months are when the big moisture snowstorms make or break the snowpack for the season. Still, those months will have to be wet enough to overcome the early season deficit. Typically, in an "El Niño" year, areas west of the Continental Divide have a wetter than normal winter and spring, and areas east average or below. But, so far this year, the storm track behavior has not followed that norm, and has split--with storms either tracking north or south of most of Colorado.

The other variable for northern Colorado and much of the Front Range will be the behavior of the Bermuda High in late spring and early summer. If it expands and moves west as it normally does, it will begin to fetch Gulf of Mexico moisture and slam it into the Front Range by mid-spring. If it does not expand westward normally--and sometimes a long-lasting El Niño event--with its strong winds from the west--will prevent the Bermuda High from moving westward, conditions could be set for a dry early summer in northern and eastern Colorado. If that follows a dry late winter and spring--which is less likely in an El Niño year, but not impossible--then the table would be set for the kind of mega-fire events that all of that beetle-killed timber has been waiting for to burn.

The sad thing is that, for years, metropolitan Coloradans have been coddled into the notion that none of this really matters to them. A major drought with major fires in the watersheds that feed the Front Range metroplexes will shatter all of those notions, and may prove that Colorado's population has passed its comfortable carrying capacity without major changes in lifestyle and living arrangement.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2010, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,041 posts, read 98,964,874 times
Reputation: 31527
Yeah, let's just hope, as Governor Owens said a few years back, that "Colorado is on fire". That'll show those yuppies on the Front Range a thing or two.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2010, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Earth
1,442 posts, read 3,574,674 times
Reputation: 844
Even a big snowpack can rapidly dissipate to nothing these days if it gets darkened down with particle pollution, which is reportedly happening a lot now.

Darker snow absorbs more light, and throw in those warm Spring days with wind and it just evaporates and a large part of it never runs off to the watershed.

I guess we'll see what happens this Spring...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2010, 04:29 PM
 
1,742 posts, read 2,622,844 times
Reputation: 1923
We had that happen 2 winters ago in Chaffee County. The snow at Monarch was red from a dust storm in Moab. Melted very quickly that spring. Had to wash all the windows of the house in March as they looked almost muddy. RP
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2010, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Earth
1,442 posts, read 3,574,674 times
Reputation: 844
I have a tiny front yard.

Thinking about ripping it out and sodding with Buffalo grass.

Anybody got thoughts on that or know how much it costs per sq ft/roll?

Sure would save on the water bill.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2010, 04:50 PM
 
3,553 posts, read 6,793,249 times
Reputation: 2304
Can't help you on that shuffler, but there are other things we can all do. We have low flow toilets, shower heads etc, don't run the faucet when we're brushing our teeth, full loads only in the dishwasher (which is a newer, low consumption one, and we catch the shower water while waiting for it to get warm, and I take a "navy" shower (my wife lets it run). There are only two of us in the house and we're both retired and our yard is only 500 square feet.

We use LESS THAN 2,000 gallons per month. I'm not saying everyone can, or should do as we do, but it would be nice to see more making an effort.

OTOH, one center pivot irrigator uses more in a minute than we use in a month.

Come on people, let's all cut down.

golfgod
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2010, 04:56 PM
 
35 posts, read 98,876 times
Reputation: 24
jazzlover...

as a prospective "relocator" to CO...if i had both water and wildfire concerns...what areas stand out, in your mind, to avoid?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2010, 05:39 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,134,776 times
Reputation: 9066
Quote:
Originally Posted by skanman7 View Post
jazzlover...

as a prospective "relocator" to CO...if i had both water and wildfire concerns...what areas stand out, in your mind, to avoid?
Long term, the most troubled part of the metro areas of Colorado for water is Douglas County, a lot of which depends on the depleting Denver Basin Aquifer. There are grandiose schemes afoot to try to recharge that aquifer using diverted surface flows--meaning drying up more wetlands and irrigated farm ground and diverting more riverflows to the Front Range. All that to keep the developers and water buffaloes happy.

Where the impacts will come to high country watersheds from fire is a good question. Much of the Front Range's water supplies come from the high country around the Continental Divide in central and northern Colorado. The middle elevations of that area (from around 7,500 to 10,000 ft. elevation) is prime lodgepole country, and it is the lodgepole pine forests that are rapidly being killed by the pine beetle. So, the impact will come wherever those dead forests happen to burn--and burn they eventually will.

There is whole lengthy thread on Colorado water issues. It should be required reading for anyone living or comtemplating living in Colorado.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top