In last days on job, Colorado’s veteran snow survey chief finds snowpack significantly below average

Outlet: Denver Post

December 30, 2011

The wind outside was bellowing, puffing dry snow into furious plumes, when Mike Gillespie stepped out of his sport utility vehicle. Gillespie, the snow survey supervisor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Colorado, has visited this spot along U.S. 40 just below the Berthoud Pass summit at the same time each year for 28 years to measure the snowpack. In his first year, when snow piled up twice as much as normal, it took a heroic effort just to climb the 200 yards to the measurement site. Thursday, it took about five minutes. The first manual snow sampling of the season Thursday confirmed what automated sensors have been suggesting for weeks: The water available in Colorado’s snowpack is significantly below average…

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