It’s Melting

snowpack mapAs Scot points out, there’s a crapload of snow all over the western U.S. right now. That’s probably the most interesting bit from a climatological perspective. You typically see wet up north and dry down south, or vice versa. But we’ve also hit a warm spell down here, which means you’re starting to see things melt in a hurry.

I took a drive up north yesterday to give it a look. (Turns out Colorado is not that far if your employer’s paying for the gasoline.) If you get up close to a snowbank, you’ll see water dripping off the bottom, forming little rivulets in any low spot, flowing inexorably downstream. Every bit of exposed dirt is muddy right now. The result is the Rio Grande flowing through Albuquerque right now at double the normal rate for March 15. Similar gonzo flow up at Otowi, the main gage for determining Rio Grande Compact legalities, and really big flows on the Chama, where the dam tenders are starting to move water around in preparation for a high runoff year.

I think I’ll go for a bike ride to look at the river.