Dubas goes on to describe the Colorado Dust-on-Snow Program (CODOS) based at the Center for Snow and Avalance Studies in Silverton. Launched in 2004, CODOS has tracked the amount of dust landing on the state's snowpack and its impact -- which is significant:
Twelve dust-on-snow events during the winter of 2008/2009 led to a 40 to 50 day earlier snowmelt--which occurred 20 days earlier than normal--with record streamflow rates.
CODOS's monitoring and forecasting services made all the difference, says [the National Science Foundation's Jay] Fein, enabling water managers to anticipate these events and still provide reliable water supplies.
I suppose we should also cut down on our dust in Denver, but I can't even remember to move my car for street sweeping, so just write me my dust ticket now.
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(Photo from kteague)