May was a drought-buster for eastern Colorado

Wet summer ahead?

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May precipitation broke the all-time record for Colorado.

Every part of Colorado saw above normal precipitation in Many.

Every part of Colorado saw above normal precipitation in May.

Staff Report

FRISCO — May brought drought-busting precipitation to much of Colorado, state climate experts said last week during their monthly Water Availability Task Force meeting in Denver.

The beneficial moisture erased a long-running drought in southeastern Colorado and also helped boost the streamflow outlook in the Rio Grande Basin, where a meager winter snowpack had lowered expectations for summer runoff.

By contrast, the far western third of the state is still designated as experiencing abnormally dry conditions by the National Drought Monitor, which also shows a pocket of moderate drought across western Gunnison and much of Delta counties. Continue reading

May 2015 ends up as warmest-ever for planet Earth

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Hard to find the cool spots.

Year to date temps also on record-setting pace

Staff Report

FRISCO — The world’s average surface temperature soared 1.57 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average in May to set a new all-record for the month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported in its new update this week.

Nearly all areas of the planet were warmer than average, with three cool spots: far northeastern Asia, a small area of the North Atlantic near Greenland, Australia and the central U.S.

All of Greenland, but particularly the far northeast, was colder than average for May, as was Iceland, where temps ran 5 to 7 degrees below the average of the past 10 years.

Notable hot spots included Alaska, northern Scandinavia and northern South America, as well as parts of the equatorial Pacific Ocean where a brewing El Niño has heated things up considerably. Continue reading

Hurricane Carlos raking the Mexican Riviera

Strengthening El Niño fueling tropical storms in eastern Pacific

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A NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Carlos strengthening off southern Mexico.

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Hurricane Carlos is moving slowly northwestward along the southern Coast of Mexico. Via National Hurricane Center.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Taking a track parallel to the southern coast of Mexico, Hurricane Carlos has spurred warnings and watches along a long section of shoreline. Parts of southern Mexico could get pummeled by high winds, rain and surf the next few days, although the National Hurricane Center says the the storm’s path is still uncertain.

For now, a hurricane warming is in effect from Punta San Telmo to Tecpan de Galeana, with a hurricane watch extending west from Punta san Telmo to Manzanillo. Carlos is generating winds of about 80 mph and could strengthen in the next couple of days, with winds of up to 90 mph as it nears the coast. Continue reading

Climate: May precipitation sets all-time U.S. record

Wettest month ever, federal climate trackers say

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Wetter-than-average conditions prevailed across a huge swath of the central U.S. during May, leading to a record-wet month for the U.S.

Staff Report

FRISCO — May 2015 was wet, not just in Colorado, but across the country, with average precipitation smashing the all-time record for the month — and for any month — during the 121-year span that records have been kept.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center, the May precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 4.36 inches, 1.45 inches above average. For the spring season (March-May), the precipitation total for the lower 48 states was 9.33 inches, 1.39 inches above average, and the 11th wettest on record.  Continue reading

Widespread flood warnings in Colorado

Hikers, motorists warned about overflowing streams and rivers

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Subtropical moisture streaming into Colorado is triggering more flood concerns.

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Flooding is possible in southwest Colorado, parts of the high country, as well as many Front Range streams.

Staff Report

FRISCO — With more subtropical moisture streaming into Colorado from the Southwest, parts of the state are under flood watches and flood warnings at the start of the weekend, including:

  • South Boulder Creek near Eldorado Springs,
  • Cache La Poudre River near Greeley affecting Weld County.
  • South Platte River at Henderson affecting Adams County.
  • South Platte River near Kersey affecting Weld County.
  • South Platte River near Weldona affecting Morgan County.
  • South Platte River near Balzac affecting Logan, Morgan and
    Washington Counties.

In the high country, the Eagle River is expected to come close to overflowing this weekend, with a flood advisory for the weekend. Other rivers running high include the Roaring Fork between Aspen and Glenwood Springs and the Colorado River from the Eagle/Grand County line to the Utah border. Continue reading

Climate: Is this year’s El Niño here to stay?

Forecasters nearly certain pattern will persist at least through the end of summer and probably to the end of the year

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Warm sea surface temperatures along the equatorial Pacific show the shape of El Niño.

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A classic El Niño sea surface temperature pattern is projected in this map from NOAA.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — A developing Pacific El Niño is already affecting weather patterns across the western U.S. by bringing abundant spring moisture to the region, including late season snow and rain to parts of parched California.

And last week meteorologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said El Niño is likely to stick around for the summer and probably even through the end of the year, perhaps even gaining strength. More on the forecast in this NOAA El Niño blog.
Continue reading

Climate: April ends up as 17-warmest on record

Heat shifts from Far West to Southeast

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Much of the U.S. was warmer than average in April 2015.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Last month ended up as the 17-warmest April on record, with an average temperature for the 48 contiguous states at 53.1 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the warmest April since 2012, according to the new monthly State of the Climate summary from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Continue reading

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