All winter long, we've kept tabs on the snowpack in the West, the highs, the lows, and everything in between. And while there were moments when things didn't look so good, there were still regions in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana with above average snow. The latest April 1 map from the National Water and Climate Center doesn't offer much comfort, however. March was basically a dry, cruel month for most western ski towns. Sure, there were a few storms, but overall, the snowpack in nearly every state has declined in the past month.
Earlier in the winter, in November and December, maps of the current snow water equivalent (SWE) as a percentage of average showed a colorful story. Parts of Utah and Wyoming were well above average while other regions lacked snow.
Now, however, it's a sea of red, orange, and yellow, with only a few spots of green (indicating the snowpack is at 90-109%). Tahoe is down to a measly 2%, and Utah looks downright sad. Even Northern Colorado, which was sitting at about average for most of the winter, has dropped to about 85-88% of average.
What does this all mean? March was a bad month in terms of snow. Record-breaking temperatures, little precipitation, and the high sun angle wrecked havoc on ski slopes, causing many ski areas to close early.
At this point it's time to break out the mountain bikes.
· National Weather and Climate Center [Official Site]
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