December 22-23 Storm Hydrologic Summary

WINTER STORM BRINGS PRECIPITATION TO AREAS IN SOUTHEASTERN UTAH AND SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO EXPERIENCING MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS


ON TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22-23, 2009, THE CENTER OF A STRONG PACIFIC STORM SYSTEM MOVED EASTWARD ACROSS ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO. MOISTURE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS STORM SYSTEM SPREAD ACROSS THE SOUTHWESTERN STATES, WITH SIGNIFICANT PRECIPITATION FALLING ACROSS PORTIONS OF SOUTHEASTERN UTAH AND SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO, AREAS WHICH HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS.  HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATIONS EVEN OCCURRED IN SOME OF THE LOWER ELEVATIONS OF SAN JUAN COUNTY IN UTAH AND DOLORES AND MONTEZUMA COUNTIES IN COLORADO.  ALTHOUGH MANY AREAS STILL HAVE A PRECIPITATION DEFICIT FOR THIS YEAR DUE TO A DRIER THAN NORMAL MONSOON SEASON AND A DRY AUTUMN, THIS STORM SYSTEM HAS NONETHELESS HELPED TO REPLENISH MOUNTAIN SNOWPACK AND SOIL MOISTURE.

SNOW PACK AS A PERCENTAGE OF NORMAL BEFORE AND AFTER THE STORM FOR THE MAJOR RIVER BASINS IN WESTERN COLORADO AND EASTERN UTAH WAS:

IN COLORADO:
 

Basin Name Percent of Normal Snowpack Before the Storm Percent of Normal Snowpack After the Storm
GUNNISON RIVER BASIN 92 95
UPPER COLORADO RIVER BASIN  78 78
ROARING FORK RIVER BASIN  89 91
YAMPA AND WHITE RIVER BASINS 76 76
SAN MIGUEL/DOLORES RIVER BASINS 103 105
ANIMAS RIVER BASIN  82 85
UPPER SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN  103 103

IN UTAH:


Basin Name Percent of Normal Snow Pack Percent of Normal Snow Pack
UPPER GREEN RIVER BASIN  61 58
DUCHESNE RIVER BASIN  75 75
COLORADO RIVER PLATEAUS/SOUTHEASTERN UTAH 117 128


STORM TOTAL SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT FOR SELECTED AUTOMATED SITES IN THE MOUNTAINS OF WESTERN COLORADO AND EASTERN UTAH WERE:

IN WESTERN COLORADO:

PARK RANGE:

Station

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)(inches)

RABBIT EARS 0.5
WALDEN 0.3

FLAT TOPS:


Station

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)(inches)

TRAPPER LAKE 0.8


GRAND MESA:


Station

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)(inches)

MESA LAKES 0.9
PARK RESERVOIR 1.0
OVERLAND RESERVOIR 0.6

HOLY CROSS WILDERNESS:


Station

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)(inches)

BEAVER CREEK VILLAGE 0.8


HUNTER-FRYING PAN WILDERNESS:


Station

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)(inches)

KILN 0.4
IVANHOE 0.4
CHAPMAN TUNNEL 0.5


SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS:


Station

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)(inches)

LONE CONE 0.5
MOLAS LAKE 0.5
SLUMGULLION 0.6
RED MOUNTAIN PASS 0.6
LIZARD HEAD PASS 0.6
BEARTOWN 0.4
COLUMBUS BASIN 0.7
SHARKSTOOTH 0.7


IN EASTERN UTAH:

EASTERN UINTAH MOUNTAINS:


Station

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)(inches)

TROUT CREEK 0.2


EAST TAVAPUTS PLATEAU:


Station

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)(inches)

EAST WILLOW CREEK 0.4


LA SAL MOUNTAINS:


Station

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)(inches)

LA SAL MOUNTAIN 0.4


ABAJO MOUNTAINS:


Station

Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)(inches)

CAMP JACKSON 1.4



SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT ESTIMATES CAN BE AFFECTED BY HIGH WINDS.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION FORECAST OFFICE AND COOPERATING AGENCIES WILL BE EVALUATING THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE STORMS THIS DECEMBER HAVE ALLEVIATED THE ABNORMALLY DRY AND DROUGHT CONDITIONS IN WESTERN COLORADO AND EASTERN UTAH. IT IS STILL EARLY IN THE SNOW SEASON AND THE FREQUENCY, TRACK AND INTENSITY OF SUBSEQUENT WINTER STORMS WILL ULTIMATELY DETERMINE HOW MUCH SNOW WILL ACCUMULATE IN THE MOUNTAINS AND THE CORRESPONDING WATER SUPPLY FROM THE SPRING 2010 RUNOFF.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION FORECAST OFFICE WILL BEGIN ISSUING WATER SUPPLY OUTLOOKS IN FEBRUARY 2010.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION HOMEPAGE AT HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/GJT.

SNOTEL DATA SOURCE: NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE

WFO GRAND JUNCTION SERVICE HYDROLOGIST



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