Welcome to Snow News

Snowpack along the Continental Divide at Monarch Mountain ski area in February 2014.

Snow News is a free newsletter for people who love snow and want to know what’s happening with the American West’s snowpack.

I’m Mitch Tobin, a science writer, multimedia journalist, drone pilot, and amateurish skier based in southwest Colorado.

Snow is my muse, my passion, my obsession, and my occasional nemesis.

I started this newsletter because I’ll never tire of learning about this captivating force of nature that has been responsible for some of my life’s most joyous—and harrowing—moments, sometimes on the same day!

My mission is to share what I find as I explore this fascinating form of weather and report on how our precious snowpack is changing in the 21st century climate.

The snowpack is the cornerstone of the Southwest’s water supply and what makes desert metropolises and irrigated agriculture possible in a dry region that’s aridifying due to climate change. Throughout the West and around the country, snow not only gives life to countless species and manifold ecosystems but also drives rural economies that depend on farming, skiing, snowmobiling, fishing, rafting, or all of the above, as is the case in my hometown of Durango.

Colorado and the mighty San Juan Mountains are my starting point, but I’ll be reporting on the snowpack throughout the region. I’ll share news, research, and insights from faraway places where it snows, even beyond the United States, and perhaps even on other planets. Did you know it snows on Mars?

Teton Range and Snake River near Jackson, Wyoming, in March 2018.

Why subscribe to Snow News?

If you want to learn more about snow—why it forms, where it falls, whom it supports, how it’s studied, why it’s important, how it’s changing—then this newsletter is for you!

Rather than breathlessly cover the blow-by-blow of every incoming storm, I’ll be focusing on the bigger picture, seasonal trends, climate change impacts, and snow’s critical role in sustaining—and sometimes confounding—modern life in the American West.

Subscribe to Snow News and you’ll receive a free newsletter with:

·      Original reporting on the latest snow science and current state of the snowpack

·      Explanatory journalism that makes complex snow topics accessible and engaging

·      Interviews with leading scientists and other snow experts

·      Photos and videos that capture the beauty of snow and the joy of snow sports

·      Data visualizations depicting the weather, climate, and snowpack

·      Helpful resources for understanding and forecasting snow

·      Field reports and personal stories based on my exploration of the cryosphere

White-tailed ptarmigan in the snow on Colorado’s Huron Peak in October 2014.

Multimedia journalism beyond doom and gloom

I’m currently the co-director of the Water Desk, an independent journalism initiative based at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for Environmental Journalism that focuses on Western water issues, especially the Colorado River and Rio Grande. For both of these beleaguered rivers, a thinning and less reliable snowpack lies at the crux of water management challenges that are threatening economies, ecosystems, and residents’ very way of life.

The contents of this newsletter are my sole responsibility. I have strict editorial independence from the University of Colorado and from the funders who support the Water Desk. I will be devoting a portion of my work for the Water Desk to reporting on the West’s snowpack, but also spending plenty of personal time on this project. 

I see my primary journalistic role as one of translator who tries to make the arcane and complicated world of snow science more intelligible for a lay audience, including myself. Put simply, I’m enchanted by snow, I still have tons of questions, and I want to share what I find while searching for answers.

I will not shy away from depressing projections about our snowpack—and there are many—but I will venture far beyond just the doom and gloom. If I didn’t, I think I’d go ski off a 1,000-foot cliff, and that would be the end of me and my newsletter!

A down year for the snowpack at Park City, Utah, on March 23, 2022.

I won’t be able to sustain this passion project unless I have lots of fun pursuing my curiosities, exploring new places, expressing myself creatively, and connecting with fellow snow lovers.  

My journalism career began in 1998 as a newspaper reporter, and I wrote a book about endangered species in 2010, but my work since then has expanded beyond text to include photo and video, so this newsletter will include plenty of imagery, plus maps and other data visualizations.

Immersing myself in the story at Copper Mountain, Colorado, in January 2016.

Questions? Suggestions?

If there’s anyone in your orbit who might be interested in Snow News, please forward this email to them or suggest they sign up here.

I’ll also be publishing content on the Water Desk website and social media, so please follow Snow News on Instagram, Threads, X, and Facebook.

And feel free to email me at mitchtobin@gmail.com if you have any questions or feedback about the newsletter. I’m always looking for new sources and story ideas.



Icicles and Missionary Ridge, near Durango, Colorado, in January 2023.

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Latest news, science, photos, videos, maps, and field reports about snow and the West's snowpack from an award-winning author and Colorado multimedia journalist who loves skiing and snowboarding.


I’m a Colorado science writer, multimedia journalist, and drone pilot who loves snow, skiing, snowboarding, and exploring the Southwest.