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Mountain News: Snow surveys may be delayed

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CRESTED BUTTE, Colo.—Effects from the shutdown of broad swathes of the U.S. government will likely linger far into coming months. In Crested Butte, News editor Mark Reaman pointed to the nearby Rocky Mountain Biological Lab.

The laboratory at the foot of the Anthracite Range has many scientific studies, including some devoted to understanding the effects of climate change. But there's also a project called SnoEx, in which some of the scientists are working with NASA to develop new technology to measure the water content of snow to improve water predictions.

"The intent has been to do a series of major flights in the Gunnison (River) Basin and coordinate those ground measurements by RMBL scientists to better calibrate and interpret air-based measurements," Reaman explained.

"But, NASA is closed and so planning for the flights has stopped. If the project does not resume in the next several weeks, it will be delayed a year, since the timing of the flights is critical. Snow measurements cannot be pushed into the summer."

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