2014 Winter: Colorado’s Snowpack Levels

Steamboat Springs water rightsNorthwest Colorado woke up this morning to additional new snow in the high country. There’s a long way to go before the irrigation season but if the cool temperatures and snow events continue, the summer agriculture season for hay production and livestock grazing should be in great shape. The Yampa and White River basins snow levels are 122% of median and fairing much better compared to same time last year at 78% of median. The City of Steamboat Springs is already closing in on the average season snowfall. As of February 20, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 165.6 inches compared to a full season average of 169.7 inches. Colorado statewide is currently in a better position than last year at 117% of median compared to 70% a year ago. Very important to the state’s agriculture economy, Northeast Colorado’s top agriculture producing counties are at 144% of median compared to 65% a year ago. Additionally area reservoirs levels were above normal on February 1. Across the board, 2014 is a major improvement from this time of the year 2012 and 2013, when drought conditions were present across the entire state.