SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Scientists hiked up Berthoud Pass in Summit County on Thursday to measure the snowpack as part of the annual snow survey for Colorado.
“There might be about six feet of snow but there might only be two feet of actual liquid water stored,” said Karl Wetlaufer, assistant snow surveyor.
Scientists ski to remote wilderness areas to get accurate measurements of just how deep the snow is.
“We’re pretty much near normal levels, actually slightly above normal right where we’re standing,” said Wetlaufer. “Today we’re at 107 percent of the normal value.”
But the news isn’t quite as good for some of Colorado’s other major river basins.
Many of the recent large storm events missed the southern and southwest mountains where snowpack is largely 70-80 percent of normal.
As the data on snowpack is collected, reservoir managers along the Front Range can plan ahead for water usage in the summer. In years where snowpack is down, water restrictions can be instituted. In other years, flooding can be a concern.
“We’re in a really good situation, particularly in the northern and central mountains and basins in Colorado,” said Wetlaufer