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.
With winter underway, learn more about the science behind ice and snow.
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.
As a changing climate renders streamflow predictions less accurate, water managers are turning to new technologies for a clearer picture of what’s happening in their basin’s snowpack.
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.
Ifclimate change continues relatively unabated, consecutive years with snow drought conditions will become much more common, with impacts on cities, agriculture, forests, wildlife and winter sports.
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.
Cloud seeding occurs in more than 50 countries, but we still don’t know whether it works.
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.
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.
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