Many things are known as the wet and wild winter of 2019 draws to a close. However, one question remains: Will the mountain snowpack be more than double the normal levels?
On March 19, the six feet of snow at the Camp Jackson Sno-tel station contained 23.3 inches of water. That is nearly twice the multi-year average of 12.1 inches of water in the snowpack.
If approaching storms bring an inch of water to Camp Jackson before the snowpack begins to melt, the total will more than double the average winter.
The day the snowpack reaches a peak and begins to melt varies from year to year. The average peak is on March 20.
However, in the record dry year of 2018, the meager snowpack began to decline on March 6. In contrast, the snowpack built through April 4 during the record wet year of 2005.
The total water in the snowpack in 2018 was just 4.3 inches, which is 36 percent of average. The 2005 snowpack peaked at 35.8 inches of water, which is 296 percent of average.
The Camp Jackson Sno-tel station is located west of Monticello and north of Blanding in the Abajo Mountains. The station has been in place since 1985.
The 34 years of information collected at the site has established an annual average of water in the snowpack at 12.1 inches.