Colorado’s snowpack explodes to 4 121 percent above normal after unexpected heavy summer snow

Colorado’s snowpack explodes to 4 121 percent above normal after unexpected heavy summer snow

Snow began falling above 2 100 m (7 000 feet) just west of Denver, Colorado on Friday, June 21, 2019, accumulating to nearly 51 cm (20 inches) over the weekend and boosting the state's snowpack to extraordinary levels for the time of year.

Although the state's snowpack was off the charts - 751% above normal - even before heavy snowfall on the first day of summer, the event was just a continuation of the extra snowy year since January.

When we add all the snow that fell on June 21, the state's snowpack exploded to 4 121 percent above normal.

Steamboat was one of the places that received 51 cm (20 inches) of snow on June 21, making it the first measurable snow this late in season since June 17, 1928.

Steamboat averages 2.5 mm (0.1 inches) of snow in June and normally sees its last day of snow around May 6, making the June 21st snow very rare.

High country west of Denver now resembles mid-winter, with enough snow at ski areas to keep them open into July and possibly August.

Just two months ago, more than half of the state was in drought but with all the snow and precipitation since January the drought has now ended. 

At the same time, elevated snowpack and runoff are expected to lower Colorado's wildfire risk through the summer.

Featured image credit: Apres LIVE

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