Thursday, January 05, 2006

186 Inches of Snow Reported on the Mountain

Snow, snow and more snow!

Since October 1 the Breckenridge Ski area has received 186 inches of snow (as of yesterday).

In town it's the first time since the 1995-1996 winter with four straight months of above-average precipitation, said Breckenridge weather watcher Rick Bly, referring to the current string of wetter-than-average months dating back to September.

Bly, who measures snow and rain totals for the National Weather Service, said he tallied 41.9 inches of snow for the month at his backyard gauge, a far cry from the record 149 inches in Dec. 1893, but 52 percent more than the long-term average of 21.9 inches.

December didn't bring anywhere near record snows, but if you take the 111 inches that fell in October, November and December, it adds up to the fourth-snowiest early winter ever, he said.

Bly said the snow-water equivalent (melted snow) at his station was also well above average for December at 3.16 inches, compared to 1.48 inches. This total bodes well for water storage and runoff in the Colorado mountains, where all the northern river basins have above-average snowpack.

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