Posted on June 11, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Record high temps, SW winds combine for fire weather
Red flag fire conditions could persist across much of Colorado this week.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — A wet spring has delayed the onset of critical wildfire conditions in parts of Colorado, but not everywhere. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for big parts of Colorado, including the entire southern half of the state, parts of the Western Slope and a strip along the Front Range from Colorado Springs through Fort Collins to the Wyoming border.
According to the warning, the wildfire danger is “very high to extreme” in the Rocky Mountain foothills and South Park, where dry lightning storms could flare up this evening. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, seasons, wildfires | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado Red Flag warning, fire danger, National Interagency Fire Center, Wildfires | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 9, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Sunrise to sunset …
Buffalo Mountain reflected in a pond along the edge of Dillon Reservoir.
FRISCO — It started out like a normal Saturday, with an early morning dog walk along Dillon Reservoir, where I watched water flowing in reverse, filling small tributaries, as the rising water level trickled into long-dry crevices along the shore. I really recommend taking a walk out to one of the shallow areas because it’s really quite fascinating to watch the water come up. A little later, after dropping the kids on the Silverthorne side, I noticed the splashes of yellow on the bluffs above the Blue River, realizing all of a sudden that it is peak wildflower season on some of the sunnier lower-elevation slopes. So I made a mid-day trip down to Boulder Creek — not the best light to shoot flowers and mountains, but I gave it my best and scouted out some spots for early Sunday morning. And in the evening, yet another unforgettable sunset over the Gore Range … If you like these snapshots, be sure to visit our online FineArt America gallery with a great selection of Summit County landscapes. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, Morning photo, photography, public lands, seasons, wildflowers | Tagged: Boulder Creek, Colorado, landscapes, Lower Blue Valley, wildflowers | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 29, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Frazil ice marks the end of winter
Needles of frazil ice litter the surface of Dillon Resevoir in late May, 2013.
FRISCO — Once every few years, Dillon Reservoir’s winter ice cover goes out in a blaze of glory, as frazil ice forms in the super-cooled water along the shore, where the wind churns up a stew of spiky crystals. The physics involved in the formation of the ice are somewhat complex, but the result is a visual feast as winter goes out in a blaze of icy glory. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Morning photo, photography, seasons | Tagged: Dillon Reservoir, frazil ice, Frisco Colorado, Summit County Colorado | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 28, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A jumbled pile of remnant ice in the Pine Cove area mirrors distant snow-capped peaks in the Williams Fork Range as a reminder of a winter that finally ended in late May (iPhone).
FRISCO — For the first time in quite a while, the weekly best-of set doesn’t include any pictures of snow, although there are still a few patches here and there in the valleys, along with a decent snow cover at the higher elevations. It’s a reminder of just how quick the seasons change in the mountains — snap — just like that. There’s also a softening of the sky. Instead of the lead-gray overcast of winter, there’s the bright blue of spring and summer, punctuated by the formation of billowing cumulus, signifying afternoon and evening showers. The land also softens from the sere tones of winter to fuzzy green, as grass begins its short seasonal march up the hillsides. May has always been my favorite time of year in the high country of the West. If you like these snapshots, please visit our online FineArt America gallery for a great selection of Colorado landscapes. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Morning photo, photography, seasons, Snow and weather, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Dillon Reservoir, iPhoneography, mobile photography, Summit County Colorado, Summit County photography | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 26, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Better late than never …
Pasque flowers along the Ptarmigan Trail.
FRISCO — A short hike along the Ptarmigan Trail to start the Memorial Day weekend yielded some of the first real spring-like images of the year, including some always spectacular pasque flowers, as well as aspen leaves finally starting to show, as late as I can ever remember. All this just one year after the earliest and warmest spring on record, which may be another sign of weather extremes driven by global climate change, or, maybe, just nature;s inherent capricious whimsy. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Morning photo, photography, seasons, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, Ptarmigan Trail Colorado, spring, wildflowers | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 23, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Sparse January snow across the Colorado Plateau in January 2013. Bob Berwyn photo.
Drop linked primarily with warmer spring temperatures
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Long-time skiers often say that skiing was better in the good old days, and new research from the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that those claims are based on more than nostalgia — notwithstanding the occasional bumper crop of powder like in 2010-2011.
After taking an in-depth look at snowfall and temperature records, federal scientists said warmer spring temperatures since the 1980s have caused an estimated 20 percent loss of snow cover across the Rocky Mountains of western North America — especially at lower elevations where temperatures have the greatest effect. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, El Niño, Environment, global warming, La Niña, seasons, Snow and weather, water | Tagged: Geophysical Research Letters, United States Geological Survey | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 22, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Some green grass, but at this rate, the aspens won’t bud out until June.
FRISCO —Chilly morning, warm afternoon, but spring is definitely in the air — finally! The creeks are running high and most of the local ponds are now ice-free, including Officers Gulch. All in all, a lovely day in the Colorado high country. If you like these snapshots, visit our online gallery at FineArt America for a great selection of Summit County landscape photography. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Morning photo, photography, seasons, Summit County Colorado, wildflowers | Tagged: Colorado, iPhonesia, mobile photography, photography, Summit County Colorado | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 19, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Seasonal shifts in the North Atlantic Oscillation have a strong effect on European weather.
New study helps track seasonal shifts in North Atlantic storm track
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Just as weather forecasters in the western U.S. look at El Niño and La Niña to help get a handle on season outlooks, European meteorologists are carefully analyzing the North Atlantic Oscillation for climate clues. The job is easier in some years, according to a new study carried out by the National Oceanography Centre.
The research shwoed that the relationship between our winter weather and the strength of the airflow coming in from the Atlantic – one of the factors used by forecasters to predict the weather – is stronger in some years than others. The results were recently published in the Royal Meteorological Society publication Weather.
“There are two major atmospheric pressure systems centred around Iceland and the Azores that are very influential for the weather in Europe. Air flows between these two systems, bringing mild air from the North Atlantic to Europe,” said co-authors Joël Hirschi and Bablu Sinha from the National Oceanography Centre. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, seasons | Tagged: Atlantic Ocean, climate, Europe, NAO, National Oceanography Centre, North Atlantic Oscillation, weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Buttercups bloomed this week, the first wildflowers after a long winter.
FRISCO — After a few false starts, it appears that spring has truly sprung in the Colorado high country, though it shouldn’t surprise anyone if it snows once (or twice) more before all is said and done. But the past few days, we’ve experienced beneficial moistening rains and the Earth is responding in overdrive. Grass and other plants are growing almost visibly from day to day, the first few wildflowers have popped and streams are swelling in their banks. Even after many years living high in the mountains, the speed always surprises me a little. Our native plants, adapted to a short growing season, seem to know there’s no time to waste.
The sun, captured in a raindrop.
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Frisco, Morning photo, photography, seasons, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, Earth, iPhoneography, mobile photography, spring, wildflowers | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Upper Midwest experiences record and near-record cold
Extremely cold temperatures in the heartland of the USA pushed the average temperature across the country to well below normal for April 2013. Graph courtesy NOAA.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — For the first time in quite a while the U.S. experienced a month with temperatures running below the historic average. The average temperature across the contiguous 48 states for April 2013 was 49.7 degrees, 1.4 degrees below the 20th century average. It was the 23d-coolest April on record and the coolest since 1997, when the average temperature was 48 degrees, according to the National Climatic Data Center’s monthly summary.
For January through April, temps for the Lower 48 states are near the 20th century average.
The coldest readings prevailed across the central part of the country, especially north, where North Dakota reported its coldest April on record with an average temperature of 31 degrees — 9.9 degrees below the 20th century average. South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Wisconsin all tallied top-10 coldest readings for the month. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, seasons | Tagged: April 2013 temperatures, climate, global warming, National Climatic Data Center, weather | Leave a Comment »