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Old 06-18-2013   #1
Lyons, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 41
Snow pack

So I checked the Snowtell chart for the state and we're at a 142% of norm in the South Platte drainage as of a couple days ago. Can anyone explain to me how that can be yet the bottom seems to be dropping out rather quickly?

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Old 06-18-2013   #2
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
I've been pondering this same phenomenon. One theory is that the ground and water tables are so depleted, that it is sucking the water out of the streams. I notice Boulder creek drying out as I float through town. It seems to be losing water along the way, beyond what is stolen via the many head gates. I have no data to support this hypothesis.


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Old 06-18-2013   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
On the way down, the % of average is pretty useless. The snowpack goes down very quickly during runoff and all that stat is comparing is where the current snowpack is vs. average. When its almost all melted out and average is a couple inches of snow left, and current is a couple inches + 42%, you have a higher than average reading. What that number really means is that melt started a bit later and we carried more snow into the runoff period than in an average year.
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Old 06-18-2013   #4
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
My guess would be old numbers. What's the date of the information your looking at? The snotel basin plot graph that I'm looking at shows that it's reached melt-out by the 13th and that was the last update to the numbers:
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