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Hellbent

Conditions just right for flooding in western states

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Rain not needed for severe flood threat in western states



STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — For all the attention on epic flooding in the Mississippi Valley, a quiet threat has been growing here in the West where winter snows have piled up on mountain ranges throughout the region.

Thanks to a blizzard-filled winter and an unusually cold and wet spring, more than 90 measuring sites from Montana to New Mexico and California to Colorado have record snowpack totals on the ground for late May, according to a federal report released last week.

Those giant and spectacularly beautiful snowpacks will now melt under the hotter, sunnier skies of June — mildly if weather conditions are just right, wildly and perhaps catastrophically if they are not.

Fear of a sudden thaw, releasing millions of gallons of water through river channels and narrow canyons, has disaster experts on edge.

Get the whole New York Times story here.

The weather channel's coverage of this story:

The image below indicates the water content in the snowpack as a percent of average for this time of year. The dark purple squares indicate at least twice the average snowpack is in place over the Wasatch, northern Colorado mountains, Sierra, and parts of the Cascades. Incredibly, there is 4 times the average snowpack in parts of the Wasatch mountains right now!

Click the image to go the article. It's a little more interesting than the NYT's one.

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The conditions are always right for yet another Hellbent introspective, attention-seeking or homework-solving thread.

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Well, crap.
I'm living in Utah around the Wasatch mountains right now, and it says the showpack there is 4 times more than normal. I hope I don't get any major flooding here, although I've actually got a big pond right in my backyard and that could just make things worse.

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Where at in Utah are you? I used to live in Syracuse then moved to Clinton, though I'm in California now. Mike_Renier lives in Clinton right now!

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Maes said:

The conditions are always right for yet another Hellbent introspective, attention-seeking or homework-solving thread.

Just trying to keep DWers safe Maes.

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Nomad said:

Where at in Utah are you? I used to live in Syracuse then moved to Clinton, though I'm in California now. Mike_Renier lives in Clinton right now!

Well how about that, I actually do live in Syracuse! So should I be worried for where I'm at?

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Triple_sSs said:

Well how about that, I actually do live in Syracuse! So should I be worried for where I'm at?

The snowmelt should not reach that far east.

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Yep, the west has pretty much been hammered by snow all winter. My mother said there is at least 8 feet in the Aspen/Snowmass area. Needless to say I'm hoping for a mild summer. Last time CO got this much snow the summer was pretty bad when it came to bears and pumas coming down into the Aspen/Snowmass area. I came within spitting distance of two brown bears in 06. One of them I could have reached out and rubbed its nose. Great way to start a morning. lol

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Damn, still dumping snow

Late winter storms are packing a punch to the Rockies, piling snowpack on top of already record levels across the West where officials are concerned about historic flooding, avalanches and mudslides.

"At this point, everybody is just sitting back chewing fingernails and waiting because the longer it stays cold and wet, the worse it's going to get," said Randy Julander, a supervisor with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Julander said in a typical year the weather warms gradually, allowing snow in the mountains to melt slowly and ease into rivers and streams over time. That's not the case this year.

"June is right around the corner and sooner or later, it's going to warm up," he said, noting that instead of gradually warming over eight to ten weeks, the West will likely see a rapid rise in temperatures heading into summer, a worst case scenario.

"And it's not just Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. It's basically all of the western states except Arizona and New Mexico," Julander said. "We're waiting for the chute to open and the bull to come out bucking, but he ain't moving, yet."

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Hmm, is it a good or bad sign that I have no idea who the man in the picture is?

Politics? Isn't that what old people do for fun?

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I live in central Utah (No, I'm not Mormon) and while I haven't been experiencing any floods, it's been raining like fuck.

It's like God was testing how long he could hold his piss in before he decided to let 'er rip.

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Xaser said:

Hmm, is it a good or bad sign that I have no idea who the man in the picture is?

Politics? Isn't that what old people do for fun?


It's Sean Hannity, the same moron that said climate change was bunk because "It's snowing in dallas" or some stupid bullshit.

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Csonicgo said:

It's Sean Hannity, the same moron that said climate change was bunk because "It's snowing in dallas" or some stupid bullshit.

Must you drag political nonsense into this?

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Csonicgo said:

Wants you to suck it up. It's not global warming.

He's technically right. It's not global warming. It's global climate change.

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http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/05/22/us/22snow-span/22snow-span-articleLarge.jpg


where the hell is Huy? I'm pretty sure he'd like to see if he could jump that

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kristus said:

He's technically right. It's not global warming. It's global climate change.

Actually, it's global warming. That's the end result, anyway. We're just experiencing the cold & wet dip before it it goes crazy. Right now the extra sunlight is melting the ice caps and sending huge currents full of arctic ice water into the temperate zone, forming colder and wetter fronts resulting in the cold, snowy winters and flooding we've been experiencing these past few years. After the ice caps are gone, then the global warming starts for real. :|

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I just got back from Bismarck, and looks like the makers of the map forgot to add North Dakota, where I spent my vacation sandbagging.

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