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  1. #1

    Default Lets talk about this drought

    Getting a little concerned about the lack of water in the Rockies. I know its been a low snow year and talks of a continued drought. Just wanted some input from folks out west as to how this may shape up for the CT. Should we be concerned?

  2. #2

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    Ive seen lower snow years. Bases look pretty good at most ski areas to me. Pretty normal for march, maybe even a tad to the good side of norma in spots.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Ive seen lower snow years. Bases look pretty good at most ski areas to me. Pretty normal for march, maybe even a tad to the good side of norma in spots.
    good to hear. Just concerned when weather channel talks about Rockies in a drought. Figured Id get the real info

  4. #4

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    The fact is, Colorado is in a multi year, ongoing drought. Last year was bad and this year is shaping up to be worse. A wet spring would help, but it is likely that the forests will be extremely dry this summer. The CT has abundant, good water sources for the most part and that is probably not a huge issue. Some of the marginal ones may not be available this year. The issue likely to affect thru hikers is fire restrictions. There is a strong possibility that the use of alcohol stoves, wood stoves, and open fires will be banned early in the season.

  5. #5

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    Saw on the news there are already forest fires in Colorado.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    I just want to echo what Bear Creek said. Unless things change, expect another bad wildfire season. Be prepared to use a canister or white gas stove. As an aside, there is currently a 1000 acre fire near Ft Collins, CO.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    I just want to echo what Bear Creek said. Unless things change, expect another bad wildfire season. Be prepared to use a canister or white gas stove. As an aside, there is currently a 1000 acre fire near Ft Collins, CO.
    Just got a new pocket rocket to carry

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Saw on the news there are already forest fires in Colorado.
    Yes, outside Ft. Collins (well to the north of the CT). Worrisome.
    "We can no longer live as rats. We know too much." -- Nicodemus

  9. #9

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    Damn that sucks

  10. #10
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearcreek View Post
    The fact is, Colorado is in a multi year, ongoing drought. Last year was bad and this year is shaping up to be worse.
    Just for the record, "multiyear" meaning "two" might be accurate, but three out of the last six years have been much bigger than average (110%, 120%, 137%), and yes, last year was horrible at 71%, but since March, April and May in that order are the three snowiest months in Colorado, I'm not quite giving up yet on this year (call me an eternal optimist).

    Here's the statewide snowpack history:

    ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/CO/Sno...nstatetime.gif

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    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Hope you are right Rob with your optimism, but I think a hot, dry summer is in store for us this summer.

    The long term trends in the snow pack since 2000 are rather dismal. Even the graph you had showed it.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    Hope you are right Rob with your optimism, but I think a hot, dry summer is in store for us this summer.

    The long term trends in the snow pack since 2000 are rather dismal. Even the graph you had showed it.
    You may be right on 2013, you may be wrong. I'm curious as to why you think you're right? And are we looking at 2two different graphs? Later today, I'll plot a 5 and 10 year moving average, I don't see any longer term decline. I'll also gather more years, backward.

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    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    You may be right on 2013, you may be wrong. I'm curious as to why you think you're right? And are we looking at 2two different graphs? Later today, I'll plot a 5 and 10 year moving average, I don't see any longer term decline. I'll also gather more years, backward.
    Most of the years since 2000 have been under 100%....at least in the graph you showed. (2000,01,02,03,04,05,07,12,13). Unless I am missing something obvious?
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    ...March, April and May in that order are the three snowiest months in Colorado,...
    Well that was revelatory - learned something today.

    I remember in the 1990s on a business trip to Denver when an April snow - 8"?, can't remember the details - followed a day of springlike weather. The snow was melted in 24 hours.

  15. #15

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    Would it be possible to leave sooner this year? Like maybe, June 14-15th?

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    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Fisher View Post
    Would it be possible to leave sooner this year? Like maybe, June 14-15th?
    As Rob said, the next three months could very well dump A LOT of snow (as it has in the past)

    Having said that, if trends continue, it may very well be possible to start slightly earlier.

    Again, things could change between now and then. (I hope it does).
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    Most of the years since 2000 have been under 100%....at least in the graph you showed. (2000,01,02,03,04,05,07,12,13). Unless I am missing something obvious?
    30 year average was 99.3% however the last 12 years was only a 90% average.

    In 2002 when I thru-hiked the CDT it was 65% and although there was statewide restrictions on stoves, the trail being so high seemed pretty lush.

  18. #18

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    Speaking of wild fires, there was just one last night out side of Gatlinburg, TN which took out a couple dozen vacation condos.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Speaking of wild fires, there was just one last night out side of Gatlinburg, TN which took out a couple dozen vacation condos.
    At least 64 homes in Pigeon Forge. The way they were packed so close, it looked like a disaster waiting to happen.

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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    Most of the years since 2000 have been under 100%....at least in the graph you showed. (2000,01,02,03,04,05,07,12,13). Unless I am missing something obvious?
    My counter to you point on that plot is: The last 10-12 years is no worse, in fact, somewhat better than the 10-12 years before that, meaning look at 1990-2001. Then look at 2001-2012. What we REALLY need is another five year run like 1982-1986. I skied on average 50 days a year back then... Yowsa!

    I sure wish I could find annual data before 1982.

    Also: June 3rd, 1979, three days after I moved to Denver, IN TOWN, 3 inches of snow fell. I was in heaven.

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