Dust Storms Cause Premature Snow Melt in Colorado

This May 24 report from the  Los Angeles Times is must read material for anyone looking at the relationship between the desiccation of the western deserts of California, Utah and Arizona by climate change and ground water pumping, the tearing up of fragile dry land by off road vehicles, and the effect of the subsequent dust storms on Rocky Mountain glaciers. These glaciers are crucial to the Western water supply.

From the story: 

  • Twelve dust storms barreled into the southern Rockies from the deserts of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico so far this year. In contrast, four storms hit the mountains all year long in 2003. 
  • The storms leave a dark film on snow that melts it faster by hastening its absorption of the sun’s energy. That, coupled with unseasonably warm temperatures, has sped up the runoff here, swelling rivers to near flood stage, threatening to make reservoirs overflow and

Final Snow Results 2009

APRIL 30, 2009.  Sacramento- The California Department of Water Resources issued a snow survey for the rainy season of 2008-2009 indicating that “snowpack water content is ­­­66 percent of normal for the date, statewide. Last year at this time snowpack was measured at 72 percent of normal, statewide.”  For the announcement.

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