U.S. Drought Monitor, Feb. 9, 2021

U.S. Drought Monitor as of Feb. 9.

In the midst of winter storms, Grand Mesa’s reports show that snowfall for January and February of this year have surpassed the snowfall that January and February received last year.

According to the Thunder Mountain Lodge’s report, the two months received 67 and 57 inches respectively, whereas last year saw 61 and 32 inches.

There had been eight inches of new snow at Thunder Mountain Lodge in a 24-hour period from Sunday to Monday, according to the report, and a total of 232 inches of snow has been measured for this 2020-2021 winter season, and that’s compared to a total of 277 inches in 2020 from October through April. Last year was also determined to be drier than average, bringing with it record-breaking forest fires in Colorado.

Numbers indicate that the Delta County area will be largely dependent on snowfall in the remainder of February and March in order to get out of the exceptional drought conditions in which it currently lies, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Exceptional drought is the most severe classification on the monitor, indicating that “Dust storms and topsoil removal are widespread” and “Agricultural and recreational economic losses are large.”

In comparison, the 2018-2019 winter season was determinedly wetter than average, totaling 551 inches. 2017-2018, the winter that led into the last drought, brought only 202 inches of snow.

2016-2017 had 401 inches of snow and 2015-2016 had 465 inches of snow. Thunder Mountain Lodge’s online snow archives don’t go back further than that.

The DCI will give further updates on conditions as the situation develops.

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