Storms drench area
A string of winter storms over the past two weeks has dramatically increased the snowpack in San Juan County, in addition to leaving many smiles, worried travelers, and exhausted road worker.
The latest in the string of storms battered the area from January 15 to 17, with more in the forecast.
Schools in the San Juan School District were delayed by two hours on Tuesday, January 17, after the three-day weekend, as the storm reached every corner of the sprawling school district.
Despite the challenges, there were innumerable examples of neighbors helping neighbors.
The Bluff Balloon Festival had two days of great weather before the storm arrived with a vengeance.
The storms are having a significant impact on the drought that has plagued San Juan County in recent years.
The snowpack at Camp Jackson, in the Abajo Mountains, was an astounding 218 percent of normal by mid-day on January 17.
With more than 13 inches of water in the 4.5 feet of snow at Camp Jackson, the snowpack is nearing the totals for an average winter, with two months before the snowpack generally peaks in mid-March.
On an average year, the snowpack at the La Sal Mountain Sno-tel station peaks on March 30 with 12.6 inches of water in the snow. However, the station reported 13 inches of water by noon on January 17. This represents 104 percent of the total for an entire average winter, with nearly 75 days remaining before the average day that the snowpack peaks.