Colorado monsoon season right on schedule
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —Hopes are high that another surge of tropical moisture streaming north from Old Mexico will soak at least parts of the Western Slope and the high country with rain the next few days.
National Weather Service forecasters in Grand Junction described conditions in western Colorado as almost tropical, with dew points in the mid-40s and 50s, which means there’s plenty of moisture available for condensation and formation of rain clouds.
Precipitable water values in the atmosphere hovered close to 1 inch Sunday, and while a bit of drying is expected over western Colorado Monday, chances for rain remain good the next few days.
July is Summit County’s wettest month (big winter dumps notwithstanding), so if the area is to see at least a little bit of short-term drought relief, this would be the time.
The rain won’t put a big dent in the long-term drought; only a big winter, or possibly an El Niño-fueled wet autumn, will help with that. But the monsoon rains could take the edge of the fire danger during the peak of the busy summer season, and help boost stream flows and lower stream temperatures just a bit until the days get a little shorter with more radiational cooling at night. That’s good news for fish.
A large high pressure ridge over Colorado is forecast to move slightly eastward Monday and Tuesday, enabling a large plume of subtropical moisture move northward over Colorado, bringing more widely scattered showers the first part of the week.
Most storms should deliver about 0.25 inches of water, with higher amounts possible under some of the stronger, slower-moving storms.
Right now, the forecast calls for drier air to move in mid-week, but that monsoon stream can be fickle, so Boulder-based forecasters say they’ll monitor conditions day to day.
ALMOST TROPICAL FOR WESTERN COLORADO AND EASTERN UTAH WITH DEW POINTS IN THE MID 40S TO MID 50S.