Flooding risk remains high with Spring snowmelt

Parts of state under higher flood risk this year

We are just on the heels of September's flood and now parts of Colorado face another flooding threat this Spring from snow melt.  

According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, the snow pack levels this year are above average to near record highs across parts of the Continental Divide. Just this Tuesday, we were up in Berthoud where Meteorologist Matt Makens measured 75" of snow. And while areas near Jefferson, Larimer, and Boulder counties continue to recover from September's rain,  the additional runoff from snow melt are bound to make things difficult once again for residents. 

After September's flood the potential for flooding and flash flooding is higher than normal. Debris dams along rivers may form quickly, river basins are higher than normal from erosion, and landslides with unsettled soils are all additional concerns. 

Spring storms in Colorado are notorious for bringing brief periods of heavy, wet snow to the mountains, heavy rainfall to the lower elevations, and then times of quick warm-ups. Just this week alone we are looking for temperatures to reach highs well above average by Friday. Along the lower elevations we will see temperatures in the 70s.  And in the mountains, some towns may climb well into the low 60s.

Just past our quick warm-up, what we continue to watch as an additional threat this weekend is the next storm system moving in from the Pacific. It has the potential to take two separate tracks. The first scenario would take the surface low pressure system further south, towards the southeastern part of the state. This would pump in additional moisture to the Front Range, bringing a couple of inches of rainfall to places like Denver and Boulder and the northern Front Range, where clean-up is still taking place from last year.

The second scenario would be a more favorable situation. It would form the surface low further north towards the northeastern half of the state near the Plains. This would pump moisture counter-clockwise around the system up towards the north central mountains and into Wyoming. With that we would see more of a snow event take place in the High Country. While this would add to the already above-average snowfall season in the mountains, it would limit the amount of rain runoff damage we would see in the lower elevations. 

It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest weather conditions in the area and have a safety plan in place if and when the flooding or flash flooding potential occurs. You can stay tuned to 7News and the 24/7 Weather Team for the latest updates on Facebook, Twitter, or downloading Storm Shield app. 

 

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