Denver weather: A return to spring temperatures with rain showers in the city

Metro Denver residents face fair spring weather this week and mountain snow statewide — crucial for water supplies — was measuring slightly higher than normal for this time of year, though river basins in southern Colorado lag.

Federal data showed the statewide average snowpack at 104% of the norm between 1981 and 2010.

In the northern mountains, snow along headwaters of the South Platte, Yampa, White and Colorado rivers ranged from 115% to 121% of the norm, the U.S. Department of Agriculture snow survey data show. The South Platte and Colorado rivers are tapped heavily by Denver and other western cities as well as food growers.

In Colorado’s central and southern mountains, snow in the Arkansas River Basin measured 95% of the norm, and southwestern Colorado faced drier conditions with snowpack at 81% along headwaters of the Rio Grande River, 94% along the Gunnison River, and 89% along the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan rivers.

Big snow’s still possible, but probably not this week, according National Weather Service forecasters on Sunday afternoon.

Denver residents likely will see sunny blue skies — and less air pollution than usual — with possible afternoon rain showers, highs around 60 degrees and lows above freezing, weather service meteorologist Robert Koopmeiners said.

On Thursday, a modest storm likely will bring snow to the mountains. Denver will receive only rain, Koopmeiners said. And forecasters didn’t expect metro Denver low temperatures at night to drop lower than 34 degrees.

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