DENVER (CBS4) – Just a few days from December in Colorado, and the weather is far from winter-like.
“I like going out and enjoying the nicer weather outdoors, but in the back of my mind it bothers me a little because I know there are larger impacts and things to worry about,” Becky Bolinger said.
Bolinger is the Assistant State Climatologist at Colorado’s Climate Center at Colorado State University. She says November is chalking up to be one of the warmest on record.
“When you take that warme-than-average and dryer-than-average and put them together, it also means in the higher elevations you are not getting snowpack,” she said.
Our dry spell has been one for the record books. Greg Hanson is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder, which tracks Colorado’s snowfall records. Already we have had more than 200 days without snowfall.
“It’s very, very rare. It’s record breaking as far as the lateness of the season,” Hanson said.
“When you don’t get that moisture, you’re automatically in this big hole that you have to climb out of,” Bolinger said.
Over the summer, Colorado reservoirs were used to slow a shrinking Lake Powell. If that is expected to continue next year, the snowpack levels need to grow significantly.
“If we have a below average that is going to be a major concern for our state as well as other surrounding states,” Bolinger said.
The good news, she says there’s time for things to turn around.
“We’ve been able to make up deficits like that before with big January, February snows in the mountains and we do have a long way to go,” she said.