Vail Valley: Statewide snowpack hits 11-year high |

Vail Valley: Statewide snowpack hits 11-year high

Bob Berwyn
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Reservoir and snowpack levels around the Vail Valley and elsewhere in Colorado are at an 11-year high, according to figures released Tuesday by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Statewide, the snowpack is at 120 percent of average, and with the 2009 totals for January topping last year’s readings, the readings are the highest since 1997, according to the agency.

It’s only the third time in the last 12 years that the January snowpack level has been above the historic long-term average, state conservationist Allen Green said in a news release.

The highest snowpack totals are in Southern Colorado. The Rio Grande Basin is at 140 percent of average, the highest January total measured since 1985.

Across northern Colorado, totals range from 86 percent of average in the North Platte Basin to 137 percent in the Arkansas Basin. The Colorado River Basin snowpack is at 127 percent of average.

Overall, the state is on track to experience another good runoff year when spring arrives. Streamflow forecasts for the spring and summer months call for near-average to above-average runoff for most of the state.

“At the present time, we still have 60 percent of the snowpack accumulation season ahead of us. There’s a lot that can happen in the next few months that can change this picture; but right now, things look great,” Green said.

As the new year begins, reservoir storage is in good condition statewide. With no basins showing any potential shortages, the statewide totals are at 98 percent of average and are 101 percent of last year’s storage volumes.

Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996, or at

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