Roaring Fork watershed still far below average, not likely to improve
Wildfire conditions continue to worsen as snowpack vanishes across Colorado
GARFIELD, EAGLE, PITKIN COUNTIES, Colo. (KJCT) - As snowpack bottoms out for southern Colorado, Roaring Fork Conservancy reported on Thursday that rivers across the Roaring Fork Watershed are still flowing far below average, ranging between 37 and 66 percent of normal. Windy conditions and high temperatures caused faster-than-usual melting.
High winds blowing across snowpack sublimated much of the snow, turning it into water vapor instantaneously. Dry conditions led to more dust suspended in the air, eventually settling on snowpack. Dust and dirt on snowpack accelerates melting, due to darker colors absorbing more high energy wavelengths to be converted into heat.
This finding comes after the National Interagency Fire Center forecasted an above-average wildfire season, with little improvement expected for the foreseeable future.
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