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February News Release

NRCS Colorado Snow Survey and Water Supply News Release

For Immediate Release   Contact: Mage Hultstrand
Assistant Snow Survey Supervisor
Office Number: 720-544-2855
Fax Number: 720-544-2963



February 5, 2014

Denver, CO - February 5, 2014 – The faucet seemed to have turned off during the latter half of January, with most SNOTEL sites in Colorado recording very little snow accumulation during this time period. Thankfully a couple of significant storm systems moved through the state during the very last week of the month, just in time to boost the January totals. From January 27th to February 1st, snowpack totals measured at SNOTEL sites across the state increased from 95 percent to 109 percent of the median. In just one day, from January 30th to 31st the percentage jumped by 9 percentage points! Recent measurements at SNOTEL sites and snow courses across Colorado report the February 1 snowpack to be at 107 percent of the median. Phyllis Ann Philipps, State Conservationist with the NRCS stated, "This storm system benefited the entire state, but was especially needed in the southwest basins and the Upper Rio Grande basin. These areas had received very little snow since early in December and the recent moisture was a welcome change.”

While the snow received in the southwest and Upper Rio Grande was beneficial, it was not quite enough to boost the snowpack’s in these regions back to normal. These basins are the only basins in the state that reported below normal snowpack’s this month;  82 percent of median for the Upper Rio Grande and 79 percent of median for the San Juan basins.   Across the rest of Colorado the February 1 snowpack’s range from 100 percent of median in the Arkansas basin to 126 percent of median in the South Platte.

Reservoir storage in Colorado has improved compared to last month. Statewide storage is currently at 90 percent of average with the South Platte and Yampa/White basins storing water at above average amounts for this time of year. Storage in the Arkansas and Upper Rio Grande basins remains well below average.

Expect the latest streamflow forecasts for the spring and summer season to improve compared to last month’s for the northern part of the state and to decline for the southwest and Upper Rio Grande.

The table below shows Colorado’s snowpack and reservoir storage as of February 1, 2014.


% of Median

% of Last Year

Reservoir Storage
% of Average

Last Year's

Reservoir Storage
% of Average

Gunnison 101 145 82


Colorado 116 177 98 66
South Platte 126 220 111 85
North Platte 119 166 --- ---
Yampa/White 115 151 112 94
Arkansas 100 181 64 55
Rio Grande 82 112 65 50
San Miguel, Dolores, Animas & San Juan 79 93 84 66
Statewide 107 152 90 69

For additional information about Colorado’s water supply conditions, please visit:



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