Runoff slows as air cools |

Runoff slows as air cools

Cliff Thompson

EAGLE COUNTY – Cooler temperatures and clouds have slowed the rate the snowpack is melting in the High Country.The Eagle River at Avon hit 2,400 cubic feet per-second last night – about average for the last 15 years. Since Friday, when unseasonably warm temperatures in the mid and upper 80s hit the area along with cloudless skies, river levels more than quadrupled.At Gypsum the Eagle River Tuesday morning hit 3,800 cubic feet per-second, nearly double the mean of 1,811, but still a long way from the record-high of 5,630 cubic-feet per-second.How long the rivers will remain high is a question of temperature; if the get hotter, the snow will melt quicker. Depending on the elevation of the snow, anywhere from one-third to two-thirds of the snowpack remains, said Mike Gillespie of the Natural Resource Conservation Service, which tracks snowpack and moisture across the state and the West.He said runoff will probably reach its peak around Memorial Day. Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or, Colorado

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