Posted on June 26, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Spring snow and rain helped boost reservoir storage
Dillon Reservoir is about as close to full as it’s going to get this year.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Just a day after the Colorado Water Conservation Board described lingering drought conditions across much of Colorado, Denver Water eased watering restrictions, saying that the city’s water supply situation has “greatly improved” since Stage 2 drought restrictions were enacted in early April.
“Our customers have responded very well to the call to use even less water, and we can finally be confident that enough water from the late-season snows has reached our reservoirs to bring them to reasonable levels,” said Greg Austin, president of the Denver Board of Water Commissioners.
“While the drought is not over, conditions have improved enough that customers may water a third day, if their lawns need it. We all still need to do our part to protect against the possibility of another dry winter, and we ask everyone to continue to use even less,” Austin said. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, water | Tagged: Colorado water, Colorado weather, Denver Water, Denver watering restrictions, drought | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 8, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Hot and dry conditions in the Four Corners have prompted a red flag warning.
Record-high temps possible Sunday and Monday
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — While a cool and wet spring prevailed in the north-central mountains, it’s a different story in the southwestern part of the state, where a prolonged period of above normal temperatures and minimal precipitation have left fuels ready to burn at lower elevations.
Parts of the Four Corners area will be facing significant fire danger this weekend and early next week as temperatures rise to record or near-record highs. A Red Flag warning is in effect from 1 p.m. through 8 p.m. for the San Juan mountains below 9,000 feet and extending into the Jemez Mountains and the upper Rio Grande Valley of northern New Mexico.
Winds will gust up to 30 mph with relative humidity values in the lower teens combining to create critical fire conditions. Any fires that start are likely to spread rapidly, according to the National Weather Service.
Strong high pressure over the desert Southwest has already led to record highs in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and the heat wave is expected to intensify. For western Colorado, temps are expected to run about 10 degrees above average Sunday and nudge up to near record levels Monday.
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, wildfires | Tagged: Colorado weather, fire danger, Four Corners region, Jemez Mountains, Red flag warning, Rio Grande Valley, United States, weather, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 6, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Summit County was wet, but much of the state was dry
The central and north-central Colorado mountains were a bullseye for May precipitation as well as below-average temperatures.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — The two official National Weather Service observation sites in Summit County both reported above-average precipitation in May, helping to bolster snowpack and runoff in the Blue River Basin.
In Breckenridge, weather-watcher Ricky Bly reported 22.9 inches of snow, nearly double the long-time average of 10.9 inches based on records going back more than 100 years. It was the second month in a row with double the average snowfall. In April, Bly tallied nearly 50 inches of snow, making it the fifth-wettest April on record. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Summit County snow and weather, water | Tagged: Colorado weather, Dillon, May snowfall Summit County, National Weather Service, snow, summit county weather | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 6, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Late season storms target north-central Colorado mountains
Snow cover on Peak 8 at Breckenridge Ski Area reached a peak after the resort closed for the season. Bob Berwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — A surge of April moisture brought the year-to-date snowfall total in Breckenridge right up to average, according to National Weather Service observer Rick Bly, who said that last month ended up being the fifth-wettest April on record, dating back to the late 1800s.
Bly tallied 49.5 inches of snow, compared to the average 24.7 inches. The snow that fell in April was equivalent to 4.14 inches of water, nearly double the average of 2.1 inches. For the water year to-date, Bly has measured 12.3 inches of snow-water equivalent, nearly an inch above average. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Snow and weather, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Breckenridge Colorado, Breckenridge snowfall statistics, Colorado weather, drought, Summit County snow, summit county weather | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 14, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Ski hills celebrate powder; snow snarls roads, ups backcountry avalanche hazard
A spring snowstorm noses into Colorado Saturday, April 13.
Almost 7 inches of snow in Frisco, Colorado.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Mother Nature saved her best for late in the season, as a mid-April storm dropped more than 12 inches of snow across the Colorado mountains, as well as some beneficial rain along the Front Range.
The potent storm blew in on the nose of the jet stream, with a strong and moist northwest flow blasting through the mountains Saturday night. Many areas reported their biggest single-storm snow totals for the entire season, including downtown Frisco, where 7 inches piled up overnight. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado avalanche danger, Colorado skiing, Colorado weather, cowx, powder, skiing, snow | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 12, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Season-long snow totals still lagging
The Colorado Climate Center maintains graphs that show average annual temperatures for individual weather stations dating back to the start of record-keeping.
Plenty of fresh snow graced the Gore Range during March. Bob Berwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — While some Colorado residents may be yearning for daffodils, snow lovers are probably thinking better late than never, as March delivered a moisture surplus — the first month of the winter with snowfall totals significantly above average.
In Breckenridge, National Weather Service observer Rick Bly measured 34.3 inches of snow at his downtown weather station, nearly 10 inches more than the historic average of 25.5 inches. Similarly, Denver Water staffers in Dillon measured 30 inches of snow in March. The long-term average is 22 inches. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado snowpack, Colorado weather, drought, Summit County snowfall statistics | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 4, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Some drought-hit areas stay dry
Summit County, western Eagle County and parts of Colorado’s northeastern plains saw well above-average precipitation in March, but much of the rest of the state was very dry.
Drought conditions persist at some level across all of Colorado as of late March.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s snowpack continues to inch upward and recently passed last year’s level, but the state’s water woes aren’t over, according to the results of the latest Natural Resources Conservation Service snow survey.
The good news is that the snowpack hasn’t quite peaked yet, according to the April 1 compilation of statistics from automated SNOTEL sites and manual survey results. The bad news is that soil moisture in many parts of the state is still at drought levels, and reservoir levels are well below average and lagging behind last year.
While March snowfall was above average in some parts of Colorado, the statewide snowpack increased by only one percent during the month, from 73 percent of median on March 1, to 74 percent of median on April 1. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: climate, Colorado drought, Colorado snowpack, Colorado weather, Natural Resources Conservation Service, SNOTEL | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 2, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Morning skies over the Gore Range.
FRISCO — Snow photos dominated in March, probably because it was the first month in quite a while to deliver plenty of moisture, along with cool temps and wintry full moon setting in the early days of spring. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, seasons, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado weather, snow photos, Summit County photography, winter | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 23, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Resorts reporting powder conditions, but road conditions could hamper access, while the backcountry avalanche danger soars
An active northern jet stream is bringing cold air and moisture to the northern tier of states, including Colorado. On and off snow is possible through the weekend.
The CAIC is reporting numerous backcountry avalanches. Click here for more photos.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — March is living up to its reputation as the snowiest month in the Colorado high country, with chilly spring storm snarling roads, intensifying avalanche danger and adding much-needed moisture to the state’s snowpack.
Ski areas around the state are generally reporting up to 12 inches of new snow in the past few days, and moderate to heavy snow continued falling Saturday morning. Some of the heaviest totals are expected east of the Continental Divide, where the California Department of Transportation reported bumper-to-bumper traffic around I-70 and C-470.
East of Denver, I-70 was closed to the Kansas border, and slick conditions on the westbound approach to the mountains prompted CDOT to require chains, snow tires or four-wheel drive for all vehicles in Mt. Vernon Canyon, just west of Denver.
Filed under: avalanches, climate and weather, Colorado, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: avalanche warning, Colorado, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Colorado snow, Colorado weather, Denver, I-70, skiing, Vail Pass | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Spring outlook trends toward warm and dry conditions
The Madden-Julian Oscillation has played a role in Colorado weather this winter.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — With neither El Niño or a La Niña conditions in the Pacific Ocean, long-range weather forecasters have been struggling to develop confidence in their outlook for the coming spring season — a critical time for much of the West in terms of getting some relief from drought conditions.
A wet and cool spring could at least take the edge off the drought in some areas, helping to maintain stream flows and reduce the potential for massive and dangerous wildfires. Conversely, a return to last year’s very dry and warm spring pattern would spell trouble for places like Colorado.
So if the El Niño-La Niña cycle isn’t driving the weather, what is? What we do know is that conditions over the Pacific Ocean are the key to understanding exactly what path storms will take across the western United States, and that conditions in the North Atlantic can also be a factor. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, El Niño, La Niña, Summit County Colorado, Weatherblog | Tagged: Colorado weather, drought, El Nino, ENSO, La Niña, Madden-Julian Oscillation | 1 Comment »