Colorado's water supply aided by heavy snow

Posted at 8:30 PM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 00:29:09-05

It's been a white winter thus far in Colorado.  From the airport to the streets, the snow totals this season are impressive.

"The average snow pack is about 120% of normal in the mountains right now, so we're in really good shape, especially in early February," said Denver7 Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson.

 According to Denver Water:  Collection in the Upper South Platte watershed is 126% of normal and in the Upper Colorado River watershed it is 118% of normal.

The snow that falls now can help build Colorado's water supply for the rest of the year.

"If we have a dry summer the snow is going to be great to help us through it,” said Travis Thompson of Denver Water.

The snow helps to keep the ground moist, so wildfires don't spread.  More water in the reservoirs can mean fewer restrictions when watering your lawn this summer. 

The months ahead are encouraging.

Warm waters in the Pacific Ocean could lead to more snow and rain here in the Rockies in March and April - a phenomenon known as El Nino.

Still there is cautious optimism.

"It's way too early to be cheering victory or saying that we're already going to have a great summer of water supply  We still have some big months ahead of us as water supply goes," said Thompson.