Colorado snowpack up, but not enough | VailDaily.com

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Colorado snowpack up, but not enough

Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the Department of Water Resources,  checks the snowpack depth during the snow survey near Echo Summit Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. Despite recent storms the survey showed the snow pack to be only 17.7 inches deep with a water content of only 3.9 inches_ which is only 16 percent of normal for this location at this time of the year. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the Department of Water Resources, checks the snowpack depth during the snow survey near Echo Summit Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. Despite recent storms the survey showed the snow pack to be only 17.7 inches deep with a water content of only 3.9 inches_ which is only 16 percent of normal for this location at this time of the year. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

DENVER (AP) – Forecasters say February snowstorms helped increase snowpack in Colorado, but not enough to solve the state’s water problems.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Tuesday that statewide snowpack increased to 81 percent of average, up 9 percentage points from the 72 percent of average recorded on Feb. 1.

Forecasters say despite these gains, this year’s snowpack continues to lag well behind last year’s totals.

The South Platte basin is in the best shape with a snowpack that’s 89 percent of average. The Yampa/White basin is the lowest at 74 percent.

All major basins in Colorado are expected to have below average runoff conditions this spring and summer. However, reservoir storage is above average in most of the state and that’s expected to ease any late-summer shortages.

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