Sunday, March 10, 2013

Where is all the snow?

Anyone who has looked through my past blog posts have seen my fascination with our snow pack, whether how big a year we are having or how low a year we are having or about its ability to slide.

This year, like last year is all about how little we have. The graph below, courtesy of the NRCS, shows  the snow totals for the Gunnison River drainage in Western Colorado. The line in the middle is average. The dark line that ends suddenly is this year. Not only are we below average, but we are below last year, a bad year. Note how the slope of the two lines are almost parallel. This suggests that the winter storms are in line with normal. But, look at when we started accumulating snow. The new snow year started last October 1. It took until mid December before any appreciable snow covered the ground. Look at last years graph. It was about this time last year when the snow started to melt. Way ahead of schedule. 

I know that two years do not make a trend. I hope that the next two years will be as high as these years are low, just look at two years ago with a record breaking snowfall. But looking at these past two years with everything else happening around the planet, I wonder if we are starting to see the new normal. Time will tell.

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