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Colorado 'Way Behind' On Moisture Heading Into The Winter, More Snowstorms Like This Week's Needed

(CBS4) - The latest series of storms will bring snow to Colorado that is likely stick around, but experts say we're going to need an epic snow year to recover from historic drought conditions. 

"From a water resources perspective and a drought perspective, we're definitely not in good shape going into this winter because the summer was so warm and dry." Said Russ Schumacher, Colorado State Climatologist and Director of the Colorado Climate Center at CSU. "If you look at places like Wolf Creek, they're down about 12 inches of precipitation since April and they've gotten three or so in this system, will get maybe another inch or so in liquid of the snow, so that definitely helps cut into that deficit, but we're still way behind going into the winter." 

The first storm Saturday night into Sunday, favored Southwest Colorado, brining 17 inches of powder to feet to the Wolf Creek Ski area. 

Wolf creek
(credit: Preston Bass courtesy of Wolf Creek Ski Area)

Its webcam Sunday showed consistent snowfall through the day, picking up significantly into the evening.  Experts predicted some areas in Southwest Colorado would see another 16 inches of snow Sunday into Monday. 

The northern and central mountains didn't get nearly as much snow. Keystone resort, which opened Friday, reported about 4 inches of snow Saturday into Sunday morning and another 5 expected though Sunday night.

Schumacher says, while colder temperatures over the next few days means the new snowfall should stick around and help build a base, he expects the winter could see bouts of warm weather. 

"From a recreation perspective, you can have a string of good storms and build up the snowpack in the winter, and it might still be a decent winter in terms of skiing and what not, but it's going to take a big winter to really pull us out of a drought from a water perspective," he said.

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