Winter whimpers to a close with early thaw
Mar 25, 2009 | 6613 views | 0 0 comments | 1216 1216 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The winter of 2008-09, which started with such promise in December, has whimpered to a close in March with the earliest thaw since Sno-tel records began to be recorded in 1986.

When a massive snowstorm hit San Juan County on Christmas Day, snow totals and hopes of a wet winter increased dramatically. That storm, however, was the only major storm of the season. When unseasonably warm weather arrived in February, it hastened the early run off.

Since the Sno-tel station was installed at Camp Jackson in 1986, the trend is that winter snow totals generally build through the winter months and reach their peak in late March or early April. The date of the peak snow pack varies from year to year, but has ranged from March 8 in 1989 to April 20 in 1998.

In 2009, however, the snow total reached its peak on February 24, nearly two weeks earlier than any time in the past 24 years.

This year, the peak snow pack at Camp Jackson contained 12.9 inches of water. The amount is higher in 2009 than in ten of the previous 24 years.

Spring made a dramatic arrival on March 22, with a wind storm that caused damage in locations around the county.
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