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Topic: South San Juan Snowpack, Whats Normal?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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RandallW201 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2014, 2:54 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I usually frequent the South San Juan area in the summer (July/Aug) for fishing. Therefore I've never had any reason to take knowledge of the typical snowpack and what is deemed above or below average. Now that I'm getting into backpacking I'd like to know if anyone can offer any advice.

I'm looking at doing my first trip around the Conejos/Platoro area in mid to late June in hopes of getting a little bit of snow up on the CD.

These are the sites I'm viewing, but again I still don't know what a decent snow pack is, if anyone can shed some light on teh situation I'd sure appreciate it.

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/site?sitenum=431&state=co

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/site?sitenum=580&state=co

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/site?sitenum=840&state=co

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/site?sitenum=1058&state=co


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cweston Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2014, 3:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Look at the Daily Graph of snow water equivalent.

This will plot precip and SWE for the current water year vs historical averages.

So, all four of the SNOTEL sites you linked are a little below average for precip and SWE right now.

But the real difference maker will be the weather in April and May--so keep watching these sites.
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RandallW201 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2014, 3:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ahhh, now I feel kinda stupid. I was looking at the Snow Depth Daily Readings and just going off of the inch accumulations.

Thank you for the help!


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cweston Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2014, 3:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I find this site very useful...

Google Maps SNOTEL stations.

It shows all the Western US Snotels, color coded by percentage of normal SWE. And you can link to the detailed data fro any SNOTEL site from there.

You can see that the South San Juans and Sangres are generally a little below normal, while the whole rest of the Rockies are above normal.
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RandallW201 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2014, 5:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you, I like that site better as you can get a general observation at a glance. Nice find, glad I posted the question.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2014, 12:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Apr. 04 2014, 2:23 pm)
QUOTE
I find this site very useful...

Google Maps SNOTEL stations.

It shows all the Western US Snotels, color coded by percentage of normal SWE. And you can link to the detailed data fro any SNOTEL site from there.

You can see that the South San Juans and Sangres are generally a little below normal, while the whole rest of the Rockies are above normal.

Whoa. Awesome map. Thanks!
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Starbreaker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2014, 1:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

FLipp'n nice...
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Reminiscence Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 06 2014, 4:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I can let you know what it looks like in mid-May...

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RandallW201 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2014, 12:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Reminiscence @ Apr. 06 2014, 3:18 am)
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I can let you know what it looks like in mid-May...

That would be awesome! Maybe with some pics?  :;):

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2014, 2:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This SNOTEL site gives snowpack water content as a percent of normal, but the areas covered are larger river basins as a whole. But still those are indicative of the mountain ranges in general. Currently the southern San Juans average about 85% of normal.

Generally I prefer NOHRSC. Here is the estimated snow depth map for the San Juan Mountains. At that site, you can also obtain estimates for percent of normal snow depth for the last 30 years. So while the SNOTEL sites would suggest slightly below normal snowpack, the NOHRSC maps suggests that some areas are actually above normal.

The NOHRSC site also allows you to go back a year or more and set your date up a few weeks to see how long the spring run off may last in a comparable year. So estimates on June 15, 2013 show the snowpack pretty much gone. You have to take NOHRSC with some hesitation because it is to some extent based upon radar. There may be some snow left or it may be gone before NOHRSC shows the absence. Nonetheless, over the years, if you compare NOHRSC to what you find on the ground, I think you would find the site helpful.

Both sites provide only estimates of what you may find in the wilderness. But you can use both to see what is happening as the weeks pass given the limitations of both sources.


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Reminiscence Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2014, 6:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RandallW201 @ Apr. 07 2014, 12:11 pm)
QUOTE

(Reminiscence @ Apr. 06 2014, 3:18 am)
QUOTE
I can let you know what it looks like in mid-May...

That would be awesome! Maybe with some pics? :;):

I'd be happy to. The SSJ is my study area, and I'll be there throughout the summer. My first trip is planned for the 17th or so of May.

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RandallW201 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2014, 12:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Awesome, thanks for all the info Travis, I'm going to study these over the next few days to gain a better understanding.

Reminiscence, that sounds pretty cool. What kind of studies are you doing?


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2014, 5:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I will keep watching this. LG and I may be in that area in early June and I was wondering how the snow will be then too.

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Reminiscence Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 19 2014, 9:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm leaving for the field tonight. I'll report from Pagosa Springs at some point this week. I know that the snowpack around the Front Range looks extremely robust as of the 19th of May.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 20 2014, 9:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Extremely...  Look forward to the reports/pics.
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RandallW201 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 21 2014, 2:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Reminiscence @ May 19 2014, 8:34 pm)
QUOTE
I'm leaving for the field tonight. I'll report from Pagosa Springs at some point this week. I know that the snowpack around the Front Range looks extremely robust as of the 19th of May.

Looking forward to it!!!!  :D   :)  :;):

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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2014, 12:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The area should be hikable in a 3 weeks when you're there. I was surprised by how wet and snowy it is still down there, considering how I had been reading about below average snowpacks down south for some time. Even the Sangres look rather wet for this time of year. Anyway, doubt you have any fire danger or dry conditions to worry about. Your hopes for snow up high will come true. Feel free to ask about anything further.

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RandallW201 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 27 2014, 12:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Reminiscence @ May 24 2014, 11:37 pm)
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The area should be hikable in a 3 weeks when you're there. I was surprised by how wet and snowy it is still down there, considering how I had been reading about below average snowpacks down south for some time. Even the Sangres look rather wet for this time of year. Anyway, doubt you have any fire danger or dry conditions to worry about. Your hopes for snow up high will come true. Feel free to ask about anything further.

WOOHOO!!!!!!!!! That's exactly what I was wanting to hear!!! :D :D :D :D :D

Thank you very much!!!!


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