Greetings from Silverton,
In Senator Beck Basin (SBB), Senator Beck Study Plot (12,200') held onto snow only a week longer than Swamp Angel (11,100'). Not to say snow is completely gone at higher elevations but it has been going fast. Current snow covered area in the Uncompahgre is around 22% and is 14-28% in the other Southern Colorado, high elevation basins. Of course some of the Central and Northern basins have a bit more snow cover but these basins are also seeing rapid ablation. It has been the worst combination of factors this spring; a shallow snowpack, an average to high-end of average dust-on-snow conditions around the state (which has been solidly exposed since May 2), a complete lack of significant spring storms and in it's stead warm/sunny conditions (at SBB we went 16 days in May without recording any precipitation), all has combined to melt the snow early and fast. With the warm air temperatures evaporative demand is extremely high as well, quickly taking what moisture exists from the soils and plants. The area around "Swamp" Angel is currently very dry with little of the usual wet soils. Typically, it is a very interesting time of the season when snow melts out at SNOTEL stations, leaving the majority of snow at higher elevations above ground-based monitoring networks - except for SBB. And typically when SBSP melts out we see a second surge in the snowmelt hydrograph at Senator Beck stream gauge. But this year according to our observations higher elevations have acquired an amount of snow relative to lower elevations and does not appear we will see much of a second bump.
Warmer weather is expected to continue over the next couple weeks and in the mountains there are chances of afternoon thunderstorms, but that is about it. Please see SWE, streamflow, and SBB plots below.
More from Silverton soon.