Thursday, March 22, 2012

Snowpack in Glacier finally reaches 41-year average

The SNOTEL (SNOw TELemetry) station on Flattop Mountain is reporting that snowpack in Glacier National Park has finally reached it's long-term average. Up until the beginning of March snowpack has been below average. There is currently 42.5 inches of water-equivalent snow on Flattop Mountain.

The Flattop Mountain SNOTEL station is one of nearly 600 similar stations operated throughout the western United States by the Natural Resources Conservations Service under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These stations measure and record Snow Water Equivalent, which is the weight of snow water equivalent to inches of water.

The Flattop Mountain SNOTEL station is located at approximately 6300 feet in elevation, on a high plateau between the Lewis and Livingston Ranges in Glacier National Park. Flattop Mountain is a useful indicator of snowfall throughout Glacier National Park because it is subject to the factors that influence conditions elsewhere in the park.

Below is a graph comparing snow water equivalent for 2012 versus other significant water years and the 41-year average:

Hiking in

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