Tags: La Nina's Extremes

La Nina Brings Flood Risks and Drought to the West

Sunday, 08 May 2011 11:33 AM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — La Nina has made for extreme weather across the West — bringing joy to skiers and urban water managers yet flood and fire worries elsewhere.

Northern Utah is bracing for dangerous runoff as snowpacks in some lower elevations in the mountains east of Salt Lake City are as much as 750 percent of normal.

In New Mexico, relentless winds and drought conditions have already fueled some 400 fires.

Credit — or blame — for the extreme weather goes mostly to La Nina, which is associated with cooler than normal water temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean.

No place may be more extreme than Colorado, where Denver is finishing its second-driest snow season on record and Loveland Ski Area to the West is within four inches of a record year.

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