Posted on June 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Wet summer ahead?
May precipitation broke the all-time record for Colorado.
Every part of Colorado saw above normal precipitation in May.
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
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, El Niño | Tagged: climate, Colorado, Colorado climate predictions, Colorado weather, El Nino, record precipitation, record rain Colorado | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Strengthening El Niño fueling tropical storms in eastern Pacific
A NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Carlos strengthening off southern Mexico.
Hurricane Carlos is moving slowly northwestward along the southern Coast of Mexico. Via National Hurricane Center.
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
Filed under: climate and weather, El Niño, extreme weather, global warming, tropical storms and hurricanes | Tagged: Acapulco, climate, eastern Pacific hurricane season, El Nino, Hurricane Carlos, Mexican Riviera, tropical storms | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Good news for boaters
Healthy streamflows and good boating in the Blue River Basin. @bberwyn photo.
Blue River snowpack still growing.
FRISCO — Late-season storms have helped boost snowpack in the Blue River to near last year’s level, promising healthy runoff and flows in Summit County, according to Denver Water.
The effects of the steady barrage of spring storms is already showing up the Lower Blue River, where flows are increasing due to increased releases from Dillon Reservoir, according to Denver Water, which won’t be diverting water through the Roberts Tunnel until mid-July at the earliest. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Colorado River, Snow and weather, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Blue River, climate, Colorado, Denver Water, Dillon Reservoir, kayaking, snowpack, streamflows, water, whitewater rafting | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Smart water management and conservation can help reduce drought pressure in the West
Frost-tinged trees gleam in the morning light along the Blue River, a key Colorado River tributary north of Silverthorne, Colorado.
FRISCO — Efforts to conserve water in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin and across the West got a major boost from the Obama administration this week. Federal resource managers this week announced a $50 million investment to improve water efficiency and conservation in California and 11 other western states. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado River, Environment | Tagged: California drought, climate, Colorado, Colorado River, conservation, drought, water conservation | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 18, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Forecasters nearly certain pattern will persist at least through the end of summer and probably to the end of the year
Warm sea surface temperatures along the equatorial Pacific show the shape of El Niño.
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.
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, El Niño, global warming, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: climate, El Nino, ENSO, extreme weather | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
USDA declaration opens door for emergency aid
FRISCO — While spring snow and rain have slightly eased Colorado water woes, the situation is more serious in the northwestern part of the state, where three large rural counties have been designated as a contiguous disaster areas due to drought.
Senator Michael Bennet announced the designation today, saying that the U.S. Department of Agriculture declaration makes farm operators in thise counties eligible to be considered for federal assistance, including Farm Service Agency emergency loans.
“Producers on Colorado’s western slope have faced drought conditions that are damaging their goods and hurting local economies,” Bennet said. “These disaster designations will allow farmers and ranchers to access critical assistance to help them deal with any losses to crops or livestock.”
Producers in counties designated as primary or contiguous disaster areas are eligible to be considered for FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for assistance. Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers and ranchers with additional information.
The drought declaration came after a winter of well-below normal snowfall and near-record warmth in the region.
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, Colorado, Drought | Tagged: climate, Colorado, drought, snowpack, USDA, weather | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 12, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Western U.S. counties violating current and proposed ozone air quality standards. Map courtesy Jeremy Nichols/ClimateWest blog.
La Niña weather pattern found to contribute to spikes in western ozone levels
FRISCO — Spring ozone formation in parts of the western U.S. appear to be linked with the hemispheric La Niña weather pattern, when the path of the jet stream forces high altitude ozone down to ground level.
After discovering the link, a team of researchers say their findings may help forecast harmful ozone episodes well in advance, which could have implications for attaining the national ozone standard. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Environment, La Niña | Tagged: air pollution, air quality, climate, Environment, La Niña, ozone | 1 Comment »