What started as a promising water year for Colorado with above-average snowpack ended Sept. 30 with the entire state in some level of drought.
The snowpack is crucial to the West’s water supply, ecosystems and economy. But climate change threatens to make the region’s snowpack thinner and less reliable. We talk to a leading snowpack researcher about how scientists are analyzing the past, present and future of the West’s snow.
The city of Aspen is hoping some grant money can help it collect more data on snow and streams in the high country so it can better predict and plan for droughts.
The snowpack that 40 million people rely on for water was supposed to provide a bounty this year. Instead, much of it melted away fast and early — part of a long-term trend associated with climate change.
While snowpack and reservoirs are strong, forecasts for streamflows, which build as melting snow reaches streams, are expected to be below normal across southwestern and southeastern parts of the state.
Although snowpack in the mountains near Aspen is hovering above normal for this time of year, streamflows in the Roaring Fork River are predicted to be just 85% of normal for April.
In studying what led to this historic avalanche cycle, snow scientists are identifying some elements — such as warmer temperatures, wetter air and snow, and more-intense storms — that are consistent with a warming climate.
Cloud seeding disperses dust-sized silver iodide particles into clouds so that ice crystals can form on those particles and fall to the ground as snow.
Degrees of warming: Rising temperatures, shorter winters and a declining snowpack are impacting Aspen’s...
Pitkin County is warming, the number of frost-free days is increasing and snowpack is declining—all of which have myriad impacts on life in the Aspen area.
With winter underway, learn more about the science behind ice and snow.
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