Dust on Snow

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.


January 8, 2014--Dust on rockies snow quickens melting, disrupts water supplies (Wall Street Journal)

Dusty air blowing in from the drought-parched Southwest is subtly changing the color of the snow on the Rocky Mountains, affecting water supplies for millions of people in more than half a dozen states. The dust-darkened snow, tinged the color of cinnamon, absorbs more sun and melts earlier in the year—a problem for fa


November 19, 2013--Will efforts to manage our water issues today prepare us for the future? (Grand Junction Free Press)

Is the Central Arizona Project, a 336-mile long system of canals, pipes and pumping stations that carries water from the Colorado River to farms and cities all the way to the southeastern corner of the state, destined to be the world’s longest skateboard park?


November 14, 2013--New study: Dust, warming portend dry future for the Colorado River (University of Colorado Boulder)

Reducing the amount of desert dust swept onto snowy Rocky Mountain peaks could help Western water managers deal with the challenges of a warmer future, according to a new study led by researchers at NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder


June 26, 2013--‘Extreme’ dust events can speed runoff by 6 weeks (Summit Voice)

Even before a series of intense dust storms coated the Rocky Mountain snowpack in 2009 and 2010, scientists had calculated that the dust speeds the spring meltdown and reduces runoff in the Colorado River Basin by as much as 5 percent, based on data gathered between 2005 and 2008.


June 12, 2013--Colorado scientists quantify increased dust pollution (Summit Voice)

Significant dust storms the past few years have had a big impact on the timing of snowmelt in the Colorado Rockies, but scientists haven’t been able to say for certain if those events are becoming more frequent.


April 19, 2013--Good news of deep snow in Colorado foiled by dust that will speed melt (Denver Post)

The blessed snow that blanketed the high country and bolstered emaciated snowpacks this week was swirling with dirty trouble.


March 10, 2013--Climate change and the local snowpack (Telluride Daily Planet)

The complexities of climate change and its effects on the San Juan Mountains are not well known, but research is being done to dig up some answers.


December 9, 2012--Scientists see big changes in winter weather patterns (Summit Voice)

Winter finally arrived in the Colorado high country, but not until the second week of December, after a November that saw average temps run an eye-popping 7 degrees above average.While the timing is a little unusual, it’s not unprecedented, and after two years in a row of lackluster early season snowfall, many people want to know if global warming is a factor in the changes.


March 2, 2012--Our rapidly shrinking water supply (Telluride Watch)

The Colorado River Basin is losing water at an ever-accelerating rate, and snow scientist Chris Landry wants people to know about it.

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