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Early season snowfall boosts snowpack across the Rockies

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK - MAY 23: Cars drive down the Trail Ridge Road May 23, 2003 in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. The road was opened for the season May 23 after crews spent a month plowing through the 15-foot-deep snowdrifts. Rising to an altitude of 12,183 feet above sea level the road is the highest contiguous paved highway in the country. The park is anticipating It's third busiest weekend, next to the Fourth of July and Labor Day. (Photo by Kevin Moloney/Getty Images)

DENVER (AP) — The early season snowstorms that hit the Rocky Mountain region this fall have boosted snowpack levels between two and three times the average.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture report shows snow water equivalent above 150% and 200% of average throughout Idaho, northern Colorado and western Montana. Those levels are also scattered across Wyoming and parts of northern Utah.

The highest snowpack levels are in northern Colorado, with some areas reporting three times the normal snowpack for early November and ski resorts opening earlier than usual.

The Denver Post reports that the snowpack statewide is 212% of average, though parts of southwestern Colorado are below average.

Even with the snow, most of Colorado and Utah and part of Wyoming is experiencing dry or drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com