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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

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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

Morning photo: Monsoon season!

Misty mountains

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Early morning cloudscape pano near Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — For a few weeks every summer, Colorado’s weather pattern experiences a seasonal shift that gives us a taste of the tropics. As big high pressure areas move around, moisture often streams into our mountains from the south, keeping the air moist and temperatures relatively warm at night, since the clouds, or even just the moist air, act as a blanket and prevent the day’s warmth from radiating back into space at night. It may be hard to believe, given how much snow we get in the middle of winter, but our monsoon season is actually the wettest time of year in Colorado. And, of course, it’s one of the best times to snap pictures of dramatic cloudscapes. Continue reading

Breck snowfall above average 4 months in a row

Fourth-snowiest year on record in Summit County

Big snows coated the Gore Range in March 2014. bberwyn photo.

Big snows coated Colorado’s Gore Range in March 2014. bberwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Another month of above-normal snowfall has put Breckenridge on track for its fourth-snowiest winter on record, according to National Weather Service observer Rick Bly, who measured 37.4 inches at his backyard gauge.

That makes it the 10th-snowiest March, a month that sees average snowfall of 25.5 inches. Bly said precipitation has been above average for four straight months. During the current water year, which started Oct. 1, only November saw slightly below normal snowfall. Precipitation (the combination of melted snow and rain) for the water year to date is already at 15.2 inches, nearly six inches more than average. Continue reading

Morning photo: Best of March

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A little bit of melting along the edge of the Meadow Creek wetlands in Frisco indicates spring is, however reluctantly, coming.

A little bit of melting along the edge of the Meadow Creek wetlands in Frisco indicates spring is, however reluctantly, coming.

FRISCO — In past years, I’ve photographed early wildflowers in March, but this long winter has left a solid blanket of snow still draped over the high country. A few warm afternoons have hinted at spring, but winter has been tenacious. Here’s what it looked like in Summit County the past few weeks. Continue reading

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