Wolf Creek Ski Area passes 200 inches of snow for the season

By Clayton Chaney
Staff Writer

Pagosa Country received nearly 20 inches of snow throughout the past week. 

As of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27, Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 51 inches of new snow received over the previous seven days. The recent storms put the ski area at 228 inches of total snowfall received so far this season.

The National Weather Service is forecasting for more snow in the Pagosa Springs area this Friday and early next week. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Water and Climate Center’s snowpack report, the Wolf Creek Summit, at 11,000 feet of elevation, had 20.4 inches of snow water equivalent as of 2 p.m. on Jan. 27.

That amount is 102 percent of the Jan. 27 median for this site.

The San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River basins were at 79 percent of the Jan. 27 median in terms of snowpack. 

Water report

According to a Jan. 25 press release from Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Manager Justin Ramsey, the Lake Forest water level dropped 2 inches from last week and is now at 5 inches from full. 

Hatcher Lake rose 1 inch from last week’s report, bringing the current water level to 37 inches from full. 

 Stevens Lake water level also rose 1 inch from last week’s report, bringing the current water level to 60 inches from full. 

Lake Pagosa rose 1 inch from last week’s report as well, bringing the current water level to 12 inches from full.

The water level for Village Lake remained the same from last week’s report at 8 inches from full.

Total diversion flows are listed at 5 cubic feet per second (cfs).

The West Fork diversion flow is listed at 3 cfs and the Four Mile diversion flow is listed at 2 cfs. 

Water production from Jan. 15 through Jan. 19 was listed at a total of 11.01 million gallons. The Snowball water plant contributed 3.29 million gallons, while the Hatcher plant contributed 7.72 million gallons. 

Last year, total water production was listed at 10.61 million gallons for those dates. 

River report

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the San Juan River was flowing at a rate of 37 cfs in Pagosa Springs as of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27. 

Based on 85 years of water records at this site, the average flow rate for this date is 58 cfs. 

The highest recorded rate for this date was in 2005 at 152 cfs. The lowest recorded rate was 22 cfs, recorded in 1990.

The Piedra River was flowing at a rate of just under 50 cfs near Arboles as of Monday, Jan. 25. An instantaneous value was unavailable for Jan. 27.

Based on 58 years of water records at this site, the average flow rate for Jan. 27 is 75 cfs.

The highest recorded rate was 287 cfs in 2005. The lowest recorded rate was 18.6 in 2003.

This story was posted on January 29, 2021.