Aspen Journalism is compiling a data dashboard highlighting metrics of local public interest, updated at least weekly by mid-day Tuesday.

Recent snowstorm brings snowpack up

SNOTEL sites that monitor snowfall throughout the winter measured the snowpack at Independence Pass at 84.5% of average on Feb. 27, with a “snow water equivalent” (SWE) of 10.91 inches. After last week’s snowstorm, which added 1.5 inches of SWE up the pass, the size of the snowpack relative to the 30-year average is up from 80.3% on Feb. 21. Last year on Feb. 27, the SNOTEL station up the pass recorded an SWE of 10.31 inches.

The monitoring station at the lower-elevation McClure Pass recorded an SWE of 11.69 inches, or 83.5% of average, on Feb. 27. A week before, the station also reported 9.41 inches of water contained in the snowpack, or 71.3% of average. Last year, on that same day, the station measured a snowpack holding 10.39 inches of water, or 74.2% of average.

On the northeast side of the Roaring Fork Basin, snowpack at Ivanhoe contains higher water levels than the 1991-2020 average, with 12.09 inches on Feb. 27, which is 101.6% of the average of 11.9 inches. It’s also up from last year’s 11.3 inches of SWE.

Snowpack at Schofield Pass reached 30.12 inches on Feb. 27, which represents 115% of average. Schofield Pass, which sits at an elevation of 10,700 feet between Marble and Crested Butte, picked up 3.7 inches of SWE with last week’s snow.

Snow water equivalent — the metric used to track snowpack — is the amount of water contained within the snowpack, which will become our future water supply running in local rivers and streams.

Temperature drop recorded this past week

Temperatures dropped from a high of 47°F on Feb. 20, which is 11.2 degrees above normal, to a high of 20°F on Feb. 24, which is about 16.9 degrees below normal, according to temperatures recorded at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. The minimum dropped from 25°F on Feb. 21 to 9°F on Feb. 24.

Aspen air quality remains ‘Good’

The air quality in Aspen was “good” this past week. The AQI index for ozone ranged from 42 on Feb. 23 to 49 on Feb. 27.

Laurine Lassalle is Aspen Journalism’s data desk editor, where she works to catalogue and analyze local public data. She also heads our our “Tracking the Curve” project, documenting COVID-19 in Pitkin,...