Southwest Colorado

September 21, 2015--Forecast: El Niño one big baby (Grand Junction Sentinel)

Western Coloradans might consider keeping an umbrella handy this fall thanks to the development of a strong El Niño weather system. Less clear is the degree to which snow-sport enthusiasts and those concerned with the adequacy of water supplies should count on a heavier-than-average overall snowpack this winter.


February 19, 2015--In S.W. Colo., snowpack slips (Durango Herald)

Snowpack in Southwest Colorado is perilously low, averaging only 56 percent in an index of the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River basins on Wednesday. The basin index measures snowpack at U.S. Department of Agriculture sites around the region. The snowpack at the summit of Wolf Creek Pass was at only 46 percent of the median figure for the date.


September 30, 2014--Dogged rainfall soaks region (Durango Herald)

It seemed like there was a plumbing problem in the skies above La Plata County on Sunday and Monday, as storms wrung lightning, hail and reams of rain from the clouds in terrific, gloomy, spurting volumes. Snow, rain and icy conditions at Wolf Creek Pass felled one truck Monday, causing the pass to close.


August 28, 2014--Residents weigh in on water (Durango Herald)

Nine river sub-basins. More than 10,000 square miles of drainage. Six water compacts and agreements. About 130 identified projects and processes ranging from repairing the spillway at Vallecito Reservoir to improving riparian habitat for three sensitive native fish, including the flannelmouth sucker. Differing, sometimes competing, uses for water, a scarce resource in the arid Southwest.


July 3, 2014--Drought disaster for S.W. Colorado (Durango Herald)

Severe drought conditions spurred the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue disaster designations for 10 counties throughout Southwest Colorado and San Luis Valley, including La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties. The designations mean that local farmers and ranchers will be eligible for financial assistance from the Farm Service Agency.


April 8, 2014--Snowpack dust is trending upward (Durango Herald)

The good news is that this year’s dust storms have not deposited as much grit on this area’s snowpack as last year’s. The bad news: Last year “broke the sound barrier” for dust deposits, and this year is continuing a decade-long increase. That’s according to the latest measurements by the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies.


April 8, 2014--‘Pray for rain’ (Durango Herald)

Hamburger. Steak. Prime rib. However you like it, beef is what’s for dinner on many local tables. But the folks who put it on the plate are dealing with the consequences of two years of drought and looking at another one coming up if some good precipitation doesn’t come our way.


April 7, 2014--With our snowpack suffering, water outlook is weak (Durango Herald)

The outlook for water in Southwest Colorado this spring and summer isn’t favorable, the April snowpack report from the Natural Resources Conservation Service says. The snowpack in the combined Animas, San Juan, Dolores and San Miguel river basins was 79 percent of the 30-year median April 1; however, this week’s storms brought the basins up to 82 percent.


July 8, 2012--After long dry spell, monsoon season arrives (Telluride Daily Planet)

Afternoon showers were a welcome sight this week on the heels of a long, hot dry spell that brought drought conditions to San Miguel County this summer. July until roughly August is known as the monsoon season in the San Juan mountains, and with it comes rain. Fears this summer were that an arid monsoon season could further increase the reality of wildfires.


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