Colorado weather is known for being temperamental, but some would say that this is abnormal. May is usually reserved for graduation celebrations, the start of outdoor concerts and festivals.
However, the third week of a normally sunny month brought more than 40 inches of snow to some areas. Rocky Mountain towns such as Allenspark were buried to the hilt with snow, and more urban areas had ankle-deep slush.
Although cold and freezing temps like this can wreak havoc on our landscapes and Mother’s Day flowers, the environment really benefits with added moisture in any form. We started the year in drought, with 68% of the state considered abnormally dry as reported by the United States Drought Monitor, but the recent snows in late April and May have improved the situation.
The melting slush is a blessing in disguise rather than an inconvenience to summer fun. Melting slush helps raise Colorado River basin levels, which bring much needed water to agricultural areas, plants and open lands.
This is close to the heaviest spike in snow pack for the last decade. Heat levels have staved off the normal winter weather, resulting in delayed snowfall.
This graph from the United States Department of Agriculture’s SNOTEL service shows that snowpack is above the median, but below average for this time of year. If anything, we should be hoping for more moisture to alleviate our warm spring heat.
For more information on drought levels across the U.S. visit the National Integrated Drought Information System website.
Enjoy the wet ground while it lasts. We needed it!