Thursday, April 07, 2005

Summit Snowpack Still Short

Although a series of soggy spring storms has moved through Colorado's mountains in recent weeks, the snowpack in Summit County is still at about 80 percent of normal, according to Scott Hummer, the Silverthorne-based water watcher for the State Engineer's Office.

Hummer, who tracks stream flows and reservoir levels, said flows have been below their historic averages for this time of year.

Measured at the Highway 9 gauge near the Tiger Run RV Park, between Breckenridge and Frisco, the Blue River has been running below 10 cubic feet per second (cfs) for about a month.

"It's nice to get this late-season snow, but locally, we're not out of the woods yet, as far as the drough situation is concerned," Hummer said. "We need to understand that Denver will again be relying on Dillon Reservoir this summer."

Averaged statewide the picture is better: snowpack levels are higher than they've been in five years, boosted by huge snow totals in the Southwestern part of the state.

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