This has been a challenging season in many regards. Unfortunately, Taos Avalanche Center is shutting down. Thanks to all those that have supported and believed in providing avalanche education and awareness. Stay safe out in the mountains and if you ever want to talk about conditions feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 781-572-5631.
2016 - 2017 Season Snowfall So Far...
As the month of February comes to a close and we hopefully move out of the last 3 weeks of high pressure, we thought it might be a good time to look at where we stand so far. We've had some really good skiing and some major storms in December and January, but we've also had a pretty dry February. So how much snow have we gotten and where do we stand to the average over the last 20 years!
The first snow of the year fell November 5th above 10,000'. Most of this snow melted except on high elevation northerly aspects. Much of the month of November was warm and dry and provided for good biking and climbing. Once the snow started falling it didn't seem stop for the month of December and January. The first significant storm came on November 21st and what followed was pretty consistent storms!
*This data came from manual SWE and 24HR storm board readings. Top Number is height of new snow and bottom number is Snow Water Equivalent
SNOWFALL BY MONTH AND WATER BY MONTH
20 YEAR CUMULATIVE AVG SWE FROM SNOTEL POWDERHORN AT THE FIRST OF THE MONTH VS WHERE WE AT THIS YEAR
*I've decided to use the manual SWE readings from Poco Wx Station as our Snotel Site is reading a higher SWE than Precip this year due to wind drifting. Both these stations are relatively close and around the same elevation of 10,860'*
A big January in terms of snowfall really allowed us to catch up after a slow start in November. January is typically a cold dry month for us here in Northern New Mexico, but this year February was our high pressure month. Typically February and March are some of wetter months. This year February has been a month to forget with a measly 6.5" of snow and .4" of SWE. We're still looking at a pretty significant storm on February 28th that could push us closer to average on the 1st of March but I suspect we will be lower than the 143% to 150% avg for Current Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) % of Normal that we were at on Feb 1st.
March and April can be wet months for us and hopefully that's the case this year. Here's to putting February in the rearview mirror and on to March!
We're helping two high school students with a research project looking at the history of snowfall dating back to 1967 in this region. We hope to present this research at a talk in April at Taos Mesa Brewing, so if this interests you stay posted as we get closer to April.