DENVER (CBS4) – While it may seem like Colorado is seeing an excessive amount of snow and rainfall, climate experts told CBS4 all this moisture is what the state needs to help mitigate wildfire season and to help with water supply and a drought.
“Don’t panic. These showers are a good thing,” said Peter Goble, a climatologist at the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University. “I think this storm was a good thing primarily from a drought stand point, and mitigating the probability of things like wildfires later on.”
The moisture helps alleviate wildfire dangers by helping vegetation grow. The months of May to June tend to be the wettest time of the year for the state, however, Paul Schlatter, who works at the National Weather Service in Boulder, said all this water isn’t going to cause flooding concerns for rivers anytime soon.
“We’re not going to see really hot temperatures, which if we did, snow would melt a lot quicker and flooding would be more of a concern,” Schlatter said. “The weather conditions are ideal for a nice slow gradual melt of that snow pack the next 5 to 7 days.”
That doesn’t mean we won’t potentially see flooding later in the summer.
“It just takes one poorly-placed thunderstorm in the foothills on top of one of our many burn scars that we have, one poorly-placed thunderstorm to produce significant flooding,” he said.
While the situation can change down the road, right now the state’s moisture is getting a warm welcome.
“It’s really important to get the moisture when you expect to get the moisture,” said Goble. “And it’s also important, each and every storm like this helps set us up for the summer season.”
Goble and Schlatter said those doing water activities or hiking should always be prepared if they notice higher water levels at rivers.