Grand Valley Weather Has Officials Weighing in on Snowpack Levels
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - This week's snow doesn't just mean a white Christmas for the Grand Valley, it also provides some very good news for those monitoring the area's snowpack this season.
According to the National Weather Service, the statewide snowpack average reached about 81 percent of normal levels at its height last year. On the Western Slope, the Grand Mesa topped out at only about 50 percent.
The warm winter brought with it some serious consequences, including the lowest water levels the area has seen since 2002, less vegetation (causing wildlife to wander further into civilization to find food), as well as a viciously active wildfire season.
But experts say, despite the much-needed snow, the Grand Valley still has a long way to go before getting back to neutral.
"We're generally averaging right around 60 percent of normal for the snow-water equivalent. So, that's the amount of water that's in the snowpack at this point. So we're still running behind, but this is helpful. Hopefully we'll start catching up," said Travis Booth with the National Weather Service.
"It's a really good start because we were looking so so dry in November," added Jane Westbrook, a nearly lifelong Grand Junction resident.
The National Weather Service is expecting this latest cold front to bring two to five inches of snow. Couple that with last week's 4.6 inches and the city could be looking at up to almost 10 inches in December.
That would be more than what we received all of last winter, which topped out at about 8.2 inches.