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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

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Climate: What’s up, El Niño?

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A NOAA map shows warmer than average ocean temperatures in red developing off the coast of South American during the past few months, but sea surface temps are also remaining warmer than average across the western Pacific, hampering development of a full-fledged El Niño.

Widespread ocean warmth may hamper development

Staff Report

FRISCO — This year’s brewing El Niño may be dampened by widespread warm sea surface temperatures across the Pacific Ocean, according to weather experts. Specifically, ocean temperatures across the far western Pacific have remained so warm that one of the key ingredients for a full-strength El Niño is missing — a significant difference in temperatures between the western and Eastern Pacific.

But so far this summer, warmer than average temperatures are spread across the Pacific from east to west. Just last week, the National Climatic Data Center announced that the average global temperature for June was the warmest on record, driving in large part by warm oceans. 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

Weather: Colorado bracing for Arctic blast

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Cold, stormy weather is headed for Colorado.

Polar air mass to bring subzero readings

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Coloradans should prepare for some of the coldest weather in recent memory, weather forecasters say. The Arctic air expected to begin arriving Tuesday could bring some of the coldest readings since a memorable February 2011 cold snap, when temperatures in the high country dipped to 20 degrees below zero. Continue reading

Summit County: October precip close to average

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October snow. bberwyn photo.

Temperatures much cooler than average at the National Weather Service observation site in Dillon

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The 2014 water year started with above-average snowfall in Summit County — a good sign for the winter according to Breckenridge-based weather-watcher Rick Bly, who measured 20.5 inches of snow during October. The average snowfall for the month is 12.3 inches.

According to Bly’s historical records, dating back to the late 1800s, above-average December snowfall is followed by an above average winter 70 percent of the time.

That snow melted down to 1.33 inches of water, just slightly above the average 1.27 inches of precipitation in October, which is the driest month of the year in Summit County. Continue reading

Morning photo: Leaves

falling …

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Ever since the U.S. Forest Service added this fence, this has become one of may favorite spots for landscape photos. The fence adds a strong linear element to the scene.

FRISCO — Getting one last look before the incoming winter season knocks the last of the colors off the branches, and trying to look for these spectacular autumn leaves in a new way … Continue reading

Colorado: After a wet August, Summit County precip ahead of average for the year

A monsoonal flow brought steady showers to Summit County in August.

A monsoonal flow brought steady showers to Summit County in August. bberwyn photo.

Moisture above average for the year to date

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — An extended monsoon season lifted August precipitation in Breckenridge to well above average, as weather-watcher Rick Bly tallied 4.22 inches of water for the month. The average rainfall for August is 2.26 inches; August 2013 was the wettest August since 1984.

“We had a good month for precipitation,” Bly said, adding that the rainfall often came at night, when it’s even more beneficial because it has a chance to sink into the ground before evaporating.

All in all, the 2012 water year has been up and down, with a “desperately dry October and November, according to Bly, followed by a so-so early winter and a gangbusters spring, with drought-busting snows in April and May. Continue reading

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