How will the snow in the Rockies impact the Borderland?
EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Recent snows have ravished the Rockies over the past several weeks. Looking at maps provided by the USDA, nearly the entire state of Colorado is above 100% of their average snowfall for the winter. Luckily for us, the mass amounts of snow will have direct impacts on our rivers and lakes in the Borderland.
The Upper Arkansas region, in southeast Colorado, has the lowest amount of snow compared to the average at 83%. However, the rest of the state, which includes South Platte, Rio Grande Headwaters, and the Colorado Rockies range from 108-167% of the average snowfall so far this winter. Those are good-looking numbers, as we are still about two months away from the start of spring.
As the snow melts, a lot less water comes out than you would think. However, with above-average snowfall amounts, we should see a surplus of snow melt compared to what we've seen over the past several years. Many regions in Colorado will have snow melt down to about 6-9 inches of water. That water will make its way to the various rivers that feed the desert southwest, such as the Rio Grande and the Colorado River.
Much of the water that flows down the Rio Grande is held in various lakes and reservoirs, so we may not see a noticeably fuller Rio Grande this summer. However, Elephant Butte, and Caballo Lake may fill up to higher capacities, which is always a good sign for farmers, homeowners, and boaters alike.