Dusty Snowpack - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-05-2010   #1
 
Stoner, Colorado
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Dusty Snowpack

The dust is blowing again in SW Colorado. We had one last week too. I think we had four or five dusty days last spring and the snow melted fast. Is it a repeat? The wind is suppose to blow like hell tomorrow too.

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Old 04-05-2010   #2
 
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Here in the Grand Valley as well...we had a couple of hazy days last week and today is the worst yet...it definitely makes the snowpack melt faster...anyone who has been in the high country has seen the effects

Jason
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Old 04-06-2010   #3
 
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From Chris Landry at CODOS in Silverton:
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Old 04-06-2010   #4
 
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Yesterday afternoon in the Ark Valley it looked like there was a fire or something it was so hazy.
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Old 04-06-2010   #5
 
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I thought we may make it this spring with out the dust but we got it here in BV as well.. Dust storms like this are the end of the year for some bc zones around here.

It sounds like it did not hit as hard up north.

Also when I saw this there was a $1 bet that we would get hit with dust with in 2 weeks and we did.

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Old 04-06-2010   #6
 
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Yep, the dust hit Crested Butte hard yesterday afternoon.

I was speaking to a friend in Telluride who said it hit there at the same time as well.

I was hoping that this snowpack depleting phenomenon was not going to happen this year. We almost made it....

Maybe it will snow enough on top to bury the dust layer deep enough to not cause the early, accelerated runoff.
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Old 04-06-2010   #7
 
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maybe a dumb question, but how does dust accelerate melting?
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Old 04-06-2010   #8
 
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My BASIC understanding:
Dust is dark. Snow is white. Dark colors absorb more heat. Than usually white and sun reflective snow is now darker, absorbs more heat and melts much faster. Unfortunately, the dust layer always stays on top, instead of melting off the top.

Check out this article for more of an explanation: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/7...-snowmelt.html

From the 2009 Article:
"This year, 12 dust storms have painted the mountain snowpack red and advanced the retreat of snow cover, likely by more than a month across Colorado. Under climate change, warming and drying of the desert Southwest is likely to result in greater dust accumulation in the mountains."
And
"Earlier snowmelt by desert dust depletes the natural water reservoirs of mountain snowpacks and in turn affects the delivery of water to urban and agricultural areas."
Just read it.....
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Old 04-06-2010   #9
 
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It's dark, so it heats up faster than the reflective snow and melts the snowpack underneath.
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Old 04-06-2010   #10
 
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What they said ^^^^

Dusty snow blamed for faster melting - The Denver Post
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