For Some, A Snowy Start to 2005

The snowpack in southwest Colorado has taken a turn for the better in 2005, as a series of strong upper level storms have brought abundant snowfall to western portions of the state. As these systems moved into California, bringing record rainfall to many areas along the West Coast, the moist southwest flow ahead of them acted as a conveyor belt – bringing round after round of Pacific moisture into the mountains of Colorado. This resulted in several days of winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories for the western and central mountains, as well as a mix of precipitation across the Colorado Plains.

The latest round of snowfall on Tuesday and Wednesday was the result of an upper low moving through the Great Basin and into Colorado - bringing snowfall first to the western mountains then progressing eastward into the plains. A strong cold front was also ushered in by the upper low, bringing cold temperatures, strong winds, as well as sleet and snow to much of the eastern mountains and eastern plains on Wednesday. As this upper low moved over the eastern plains, it slowed down – resulting in several hours of heavy snowfall in portions of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and Wet Mountains, as well as their adjacent plains. Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories were posted for the Southern Sangres with advisories and warnings along the adjacent plains.

Below are some of the snow totals reported by our spotters, as well as snowfall amounts recorded by SnoTel stations up in the mountain areas.

Snotel Snow Totals as of 5 p.m. January 12th
(Since 1 am Thursday Jan 6th)
Central Mountains
Beaver Creek Village 7.5
Brumley 14.1 (through 1 pm 1/12)
Southwest Mountains
Cumbres Trestle 41.1
Lily Pond 17
Grayback 9.1
Upper San Juan 43.6 (through 9 pm 1/11)
Middle Creek 17.1
Upper Rio Grande 7.9 (through Noon 1/12)
Sangre De Cristo Mountains
Whiskey Creek 2.1
Apishapa 1.8
South Colony 11.8
Medano Pass 4.1
Ute Creek 15.9
Trinchera 7.2


Spotter Reports from Wednesday’s Storm
Cuchara 10
Beulah 8.3
La Veta 8
Colorado City 7
Trinidad 6-8
Walsenburg 5-14
Rye (1 South) 10
Black Forest (4 SW) 3.5
Alamosa 2.5
Fort Garland 6.5
Aguilar (5 NNW) 14
Crestone (1 W) 11

Monarch and Wolf Creek Ski areas also reported significant snowfall. Below are the reports from their websites as of January 12:

Date / Time of This Report January 12, 2005 12:50 P.M.
Snow in Last 24 Hours : 20 inches
Snow in Last 48 Hours : 23 inches
Wolf Creek
Report Date : 1/12/2005
Report Time : 4:49:38 PM
Current Snowfall
Summit Base Depth : 142 inches
Last 24 Hours : 24 inches
Last 48 Hours : 38 inches
Last 72 Hours : 49 inches
Last 7 Days : 90 inches
Latest Storm : 124 inches

NWS Grand Junction also has a writeup of these events, at: is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.