- Special Weather Statement -
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Record low snowfall
With the 2.9 inches of snow that fell in the last day, this was the second largest snowfall of the entire 2017-18 snow season. If I was making this statement in early November of '17, we would think, yeah okay, but no big deal. But to state this in late April, well, that tells you a lot - and seems hard to even believe, so yes, it's a big deal indeed.
We now have seen exactly 16 inches of snow for this entire snow season, the lowest ever at this point of the year, and unless a major snow storm is to hit in the next month (not impossible at all, but more unlikely with each passing day), our area is well on it's way to seeing the least snowfall ever in a snow season.
For the record, an official snow season runs from August 1 thru July 30, but of course, any snow accumulating on the ground after late May is highly unusual, and snow sticking on the ground in June has only occurred three times since 1981 in Crestone.
The least amount of snowfall seen in any season for the Crestone/Baca is officially 22.5 inches, which took place during the 1999-00 snow season. However, there were weeks of missing data from that year, from both the fall and spring months, and it is believed that a few snowfalls weren't recorded during those times. As far as a complete snow season goes, where 100% record keeping for snow totals were kept, the least amount of snow to fall in a entire season was back in the snow season of 2010-11, when 33.7 inches were recorded (in the 2001-02 season, the year before I moved here, only 24.3 inches were officially recorded, that being the second lowest total, but the same problems with missing data occurred in that season, too). But regardless of which records we go by, there is an excellent chance we will see all of those records beat in the next month or so (but not officially until August 1).
No question, this is an historic weather event for our area, and personally, I never figured less than 30 inches of snow would ever occur here in an entire season for this area, or any location in the Crestone foothills*. Yet at this rate, we will be lucky to even see the 20 inch mark reached before this current season comes to a close.
As I like to say often about future weather, "time will tell for sure", and it always does, but chances are becoming more likely at this rate that we will see a new record low snow season total broken for this 2017-18 season, and as of now, that looks to happen by a very large amount, too.
* Do note, this statement excludes any areas outside of the our foothills and mountains. If you live out in the Grants or Casita Park, these areas in the San Luis Valley have seen such totals before, as these locations only average around 40 inches of snow a year as it is. But no official records are kept out in these areas, either, so exact totals are not known, other than a lot less snow falls on average in these locations each year.