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June 7, 2019: Dust Out, Sun Out, Surf’s Up

Greetings from Silverton,

Over the last couple days since our June 4 update the dust we reported being on the surface at Swamp Angel has now concentrated moreso at the surface. The 4” band of snow that comprised D3-6 has melted and left it all at the surface. And D2, the last significant dust layer in our snowpack is now essentially at the surface as well, consolidating at surface. On June 4 when we reported high overcast clouds and blustery conditions around Silverton resulted in stream gauges taking a “day off” from their increasing trend here in the San Juan Mountains. Now they are picking up where they left off. This morning our SBB gauge (11,000’) was showing the highest flows yet this season (see plots below).

This morning at Red Mt Pass it was warm and sunny, now it is actually coolish with clouds actively moving through. The NWS forecast is calling for relatively cooler (for June) and drier conditions behind a trough this weekend then hot and dry into next week - above normal temperatures by mid week. Monday we might see convective activity in the southern mountains. Not until late next week (Thursday/Friday) will we see increased chances of precipitation. So it appears Red Mt Pass will be in the 60’s and besides possibly Monday mostly sunny conditions and no precipitation.

Today we measured 27” SWE at SASP (Red Mt SNOTEL shows the same), snow covered area in the Animas Basin (as one example) is 65%. See more examples here. I don’t think we’ll see any albedo resets that will slow snowmelt in the next 7 days at least, being June we are getting more likely to see rain than snow. To get an idea of how fast the snowpack will melt in your watershed, check out our melt rate spreadsheets on our website http://www.codos.org/#snotel-datasets.

Please see SNOTEL, streamflow, and weather images from throughout the state below.

Below: Pictures from Swamp Angel Study Plot on June 7, 2019

Below: Plots intended to show albedo, temperature forecast, and timing of streamflow responses.