Better late than never: Dillon finally freezes

Handwritten records back to 1965 show latest iced-over date at reservoir in the winter of 1980-81.

January 29, 2018 | By: TAP Staff
Dillon Reservoir on Jan. 27, 2018, four days after completely freezing over.
Dillon Reservoir on Jan. 27, 2018, three days after completely freezing over.

 

Ice castles have been the talk of the town in Dillon, Colorado, since late December, but the main event finally arrived on Jan. 24, 2018, when Dillon Reservoir officially iced over.

The much-anticipated event was certainly late, but still more than a week earlier than the latest iced-over date, recorded Jan. 31, 1981. That was also the first winter Dillon Reservoir didn’t official freeze before the New Year. Including this year, it’s only happened 10 times since.

For Denver Water supply managers, temperature and freeze data like this are important (and fun!) to monitor, but the most important element for water supply is snowpack.

And, even though most of the state has been lagging in snowpack this season, Denver Water’s collection system has actually fared quite well in comparison. In fact, the snowpack in areas that feed Denver’s water supply in the South Platte River and Colorado River watersheds are at 91 and 98 percent of average, respectfully, as of Jan. 29, 2018.

Handwritten record from 1981 showing the latest date Dillon Reservoir officially iced over on Jan. 31.
Handwritten record from 1981 showing the latest date Dillon Reservoir officially iced over on Jan. 31.

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