DENVER (CBS4) – Recent mountain snow has finally boosted snowpack in Colorado’s high country but all river basins remain below normal. And more wind than snow in Denver recently means the grim drought situation has not improved.
In the last week many ski areas in Colorado have received more than a foot of snow. That has helped snowpack in all eight river basins especially west of the conditional divide were the Gunnison basin is now at 87% of normal and the Yampa, North Platte, and San Juan basins have all reached at least 80% of what’s considered normal through the middle of December.
And while mountain snowpack is the most important factor when it comes to Colorado’s water supply, the lack of any significant moisture so far this season in Denver and along the Front Range remains concerning. The weekly drought monitor released Thursday morning captured the first snow of the season that finally happened last Friday but still showed zero improvement from a week ago.
The entire state is still experiencing at least moderate drought, 68% of Colorado has at least severe drought including most mountain areas, and all of the City and County of Denver continues to experience extreme drought for the fourth consecutive week.
Denver is now more than 16 inches below normal with snowfall this season which is the driest start to the snow season on record. Last year the city had received almost a foot of snow by this point.
And unfortunately, there is no chance for any moisture in the metro area for at least the next week. That said, the mountains will get some additional snow Thursday night into Friday with up to 7 inches at the Steamboat Ski Area. The I-70 mountain corridor should get 1-4 inches.
All Denver will experience is a chilly day on Friday. There is zero chance for precipitation at lower elevations.