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Morning photo: Sunday snaps

Amazing aspen show

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Alpenglow on the distant summit of Peak 1; aspen glow in the foreground and luminous clouds.

FRISCO — It doesn’t really get much better than the sunrises and sunsets of the past few days, as rainbows competed with luminous clouds and golden aspens in a — pardon the cliche — riot of color.It’s almost as if Mother Nature is trying to overcompensate in advance for the relatively drab days of November, just ahead. With more rain and clouds in the forecast for the next few days, we’ll probably lose most of the leaves by the end of the week and, who knows, maybe we’ll see our first valley snow! Continue reading

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Morning photo: Fall vibes

New season …

Autumn rainclouds breaking up over Frisco, Colorado.

Autumn rainclouds lifting over Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — A spell of rainy days in the Colorado high country made for some spectacular morning and evening scenes, with pendulous gray clouds providing a great backdrop for the spectacle of changing leaves. It’s actually pretty hard to take a bad picture of fall colors, although when you’re pushing the envelope in low-light or high contrast situations, there’s always room for improvement. Continue reading

Morning photo: Sweet September!

Transformation

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Aspen tapestry.

FRISCO — As if knowing that there are a couple of drab months ahead, Colorado’s aspen trees burst into full color this week in a magical transformation that never fails to amaze. In some cases, entire hillsides change over in just a day or two; in other areas, the shift takes a little longer, but the end result is the same. And with relatively calm and sunny weather forecast for the next few days, the show should continue, at least until a big windstorm or the first real snowfall of autumn (at valley elevations) starts to sweep the leaves off the trees. Continue reading

Climate: More flooding, less snow in Vermont

August 2014 global temperatures were more than 1 degree Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. Map courtesy NASA.

August 2014 global temperatures were more than 1 degree Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. Map courtesy NASA.

Down-scaled climate modeling suggests sugar maples will probably persist for a while

Staff Report

FRISCO — New downscaled climate models for Vermont suggest that the state will probably be able to produce maple syrup in the coming decades, but the distribution of best habitat for sugar maples will shift, and average temperatures will increase by 5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050.

By late in the century, Vermont’s average temperature will increase by 8 degrees Fahrenheit, adding 43 days to the growing season — and 10 additional days with temps above 90 degrees in Burlington, while snowfall is likely decrease by 50 percent at six major ski resorts, according to a team of scientists who recently published states-specific projections in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. Continue reading

Morning Photo: Sunday set

Tis the season … for fall colors!

Fall colors Colorado

Fall colors unfolding along the Tenderfoot Trail in Dillon, Colorado.

FRISCO — One of the things I like best about autumn photography is the strong contrasts in light. That may not always be the best situation for capturing all the nuances in a scene, but it does help create drama and tension, some of the key ingredients to a captivating image. Don’t wait for the “peak” of the fall color season. Start your hunt now, because a sudden freeze after a hard rainstorm could put an end to the display. Follow our Instagram feed for daily updates and browse our selection of fine art prints and greeting cards at our online gallery. Continue reading

Morning photo: Insta-fall!

Can ya feel it?

FRISCO — Right on time, Mother Nature is changing wardrobe, from the bright greens of summer to the even more dazzling array of golds, reds and yellows that mark the transition of seasons in the High Country. Even the light takes on a different quality as the sun’s rays have to make it through a thicker slice of the Earth’s atmosphere. This year’s aspen show looks to peak around late September and early October, but some areas are already changing fast in the high country. Don’t miss the show! Continue reading

Climate: Bioparticles in dusty air may be key to rain and snow formation

Tiny bioparticles in atmospheric dust play a big role in the formation of raindrops and snowflakes. bberwyn photo.

Tiny bioparticles in atmospheric dust play a big role in the formation of raindrops and snowflakes. bberwyn photo.

Researchers starting to take nuanced look at chemical composition of aerosols

Staff Report

FRISCO —Scientists have long known that tiny grains of airborne dust are key players in the formation of rain and snow, driving precipitation patterns across the drought-stricken western U.S. and other areas.

New research suggests that  the exact chemical make-up of that dust, including microbes found in it, is the key to how much rain and snow falls from clouds.  The information could help better predict rain events, as well as explain how air pollution from a variety of sources influences regional climate in general.

“We’ve learned that not all of the particles in the air at high altitudes have the same influence on clouds. We’re starting to think that these differences contribute to how rain gets distributed,” said Dr. Kim Prather, who presented her findings at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society last week in San Francisco. Continue reading

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