Happy snowy holidays from Aspen Journalism. As we make our way through the last days of the year, our ongoing data tracking projects — Tracking the Curve, updated daily Monday-Friday, and the Data Dashboard, updated weekly by Tuesday — should both be on your radar.
Tracking the Curve, data from which is being featured daily on Aspen Public Radio this week and last, is reporting that as of Monday, Pitkin County has the highest seven-day COVID-19 incidence rate in the state of Colorado, with more than 2,400 new cases per 100,000 people. Garfield County reported 11 new COVID-related fatalities between Dec. 23 and 27.
While that should provide a note of caution, there is also good news out there. Thanks to an active winter weather pattern that has been in effect since Christmas Eve, snowpack in the Roaring Fork basin has shot back up toward the 30-year average, after starting the season behind the curve. There are differences depending on where monitoring stations are located — for instance, the Ivanhoe site in the upper Fryingpan was up to 120% or average for Dec. 27, while McClure Pass was at 92%. Check out our Data Dashboard for a useful interactive graphic that will help you keep track of snowpack all season long, along with other features as we keep tabs on temperature, hotel occupancies, highway traffic, air quality and more.
Our next edition of the Roundup will appear in 2022. Thanks to all our readers for making us part of your world, and for supporting Aspen Journalism. Happy New Year!
— Curtis Wackerle, editor and executive director
Documenting COVID-19 in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties
By Laurine Lassalle | December 28, 2021
Eagle County reported 444 new COVID-19 cases since Dec. 23, Pitkin County added 173 cases, while Garfield County reported 127 cases. Pitkin County now has the highest COVID incidence rate in the state.
Snowpack at Ivanhoe contains higher water levels than historical average.
By Laurine Lassalle | December 27, 2021
SNOTEL sites that monitor snowfall throughout the winter measured the snowpack at Independence Pass at 98.4% of average on Dec. 26, with a “snow water equivalent” (SWE) of 6.5 inches. That’s a significant jump from 4.88 inches of SWE the week prior, which represented 80% of average.
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