After last week’s predicted storm was a bust it’s looking like Fort Collins might go the whole month of March without any snowfall at all. While there are predictions on both sides there is not much time left. For a month that typically averages 12.6 inches of snow in March, it’s pretty clear that no matter what happens we are going to be well below our averages.
The lack of moisture isn’t good for Interstate Roofing, Fort Collins clients and the rest of the community. We have been in a drought since August and it is looking like things are going to continue that way for a while.
Will Fort Collins end March snowless? Weekend rains dropped between between a little more than a trace to nearly a half-inch of rain on a parched Choice City, and more rain and possibly snow is in the forecast for this week. But with one week left of what’s historically our snowiest month of the year, some forecasters say there’s not a flake of snow on the horizon.
Fort Collins receives an average of 12.6 inches of snow in March, according to 1981-2010 normals from the Colorado Climate Center. This March, we’ve received only a trace of snow. Fort Collins hasn’t seen measurable snow in about a month, since a late-February storm left us with about 3.4 inches and 0.1 inches fell on the last day of February.
We’re also way behind on precipitation this month, with 0.19 inches compared to a normal amount of 1.31 inches by March 26. Rains this week should inch us a bit closer to the monthly normal of 1.59 inches, but barring any big downpours, we’ll probably still fall short for March.
The lack of moisture matters because Fort Collins has been in a drought since August. Our drought classification was recently elevated to “severe,” the third of five levels of drought intensity. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center predicts we’ll remain in drought during the next three months.
If drought persists, residents can expect damage to crops and pastures, developing or imminent water shortages and a request for voluntary water-use restrictions. Snowpack in the South Platte River Basin mountains, which make up much of our regional water supply, has been steadily slipping during the last few weeks and now sits at 103 percent of the average for this time of year.