Sunday, January 21, 2018

Glorious Snow

After a nearly snowless winter so far, we are finally receiving a good dose of precipitation with this latest Pacific storm.  Starting overnight, the snowfall has reached about 4 inches on our Littleton farm and another 2-3 inches are expected before the system pushes off to the northeast.

The mountain snowpack, well below normal to date, is vital to our water supply and to the health of our regional semi-arid ecosystems; of course, the ski areas have been under-supplied as well and the less snow they receive the more snow they make, pulling water from the mountain streams.  The same scenario develops on the heavily populated Colorado Piedmont; the less rain and snow we receive through the winter and spring, the more precious water is used for irrigation.

The current storm will certainly not correct our deficit but we can hope that the atmospheric pattern has changed and that more beneficial storm systems will follow in the coming months.  Indeed, down here along the urban corridor, our heaviest snowfall tends to occur in March and April when moisture-rich upslope storms develop across the east slope of the Front Range.  For now, we'll enjoy the splendid scenery that this storm has produced, knowing that, beneath the surface snow, our drought persists.