Colorado statewide precipitation during February was the lowest in more than 30 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service SNOw TELemetry network of mountain weather stations.

The combined San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan basin received 35 percent of the normal February precipitation. Statewide mountain precipitation, while still poor, was only slightly better at 56 percent of normal.

“February in the mountains of Colorado is typically a slightly drier month than compared to say, April,” said Brian Domonkos, snow survey supervisor with the NRCS. “But a dry February like this could have big ramifications should April and May not pan out.”

As expected, snowfall came up short as well. Statewide snowpack is near normal at 99 percent, down 13 percent during February. Most major watersheds in the state currently fall within a narrow range from 102 percent in the Arkansas and South Platte to 97 percent in the combined San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan basins.

The numerical outlying basins are the combined Yampa, White and North Platte River basins at 93 percent of normal.

Reservoir storage has been consistent since the beginning of the water year, not wavering 1 percentage point at 110 percent of the 30-year normal. Currently reservoir levels are far better than the deficits that were experienced during the winters of 2013 and 2014.

The majority of streamflow forecasts in the state fall between 75 and 105 percent of normal, yet are down from last month.

With the two most significant precipitation months yet to come, spring and summer runoff is heavily dependent on March and April weather systems, which leaves room and the possibility for improvement.

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