Environment: Denver roundtable shows how climate action will benefit Colorado

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Global temperatures have reached record levels the past few months, with 2015 on track to be warmest year ever.

Heat waves, increased air pollution seen as key climate risks for Colorado

Staff Report

FRISCO — A new EPA report suggests that failing to curb greenhouse gas emissions could cause up to 57,000 additional deaths across the U.S. in coming decades due to poor air quality.

The study was released as part of the run-up to the finalization of the controversial Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The EPA is set to finalize the plan later this summer.

The report’s findings were part of the discussion at a Denver roundtable convened by Environment Colorado this week, as EPA experts joined with state leaders and health experts to bring the message home to Colorado.

“Climate change is already having an impact on human health and is challenging EPA’s ability to fulfill its mission,” said EPA regional climate change coordination Laura Ferris. “We know that taking action to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions will significantly benefit Americans by reducing health impacts, saving lives and avoiding more costly damages across the economy.” Continue reading

Morning photo: Evening splendor

Twilight …


FRISCO —A short set from the past week featuring some late light magic in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for daily photo updates and visit our online Fine Art America gallery for some of our best Colorado landscape photography.

May was a drought-buster for eastern Colorado

Wet summer ahead?

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May precipitation broke the all-time record for Colorado.

Every part of Colorado saw above normal precipitation in Many.

Every part of Colorado saw above normal precipitation in May.

Staff Report

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

Morning photo: Evening clouds

At the point …

FRISCO —Watching the weather forecast the last few days, it was clear that our steady stream of spring moisture was about to run out, with a shift to more traditional late-June weather, which very often is dry and hot in the high country. Nothing against clear, blue-sky days and starry nights, but I love clouds, especially for taking photos, so when I headed out Thursday evening for a nearby spot here in Frisco to try and capture a few cloud scenes. One building thundercloud in particular caught my eye. Looking east from my vantage point, it looked the cloud was probably located over western Jefferson County, maybe above Evergreen, and it grew visibly, straight up, generating a classic anvil head within about 30 minutes, interesting to see because it happened late in the evening, which is usually when the clouds start to collapse as they lose the heat of the day. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for daily photo updates and visit our online Fine Art America gallery for some of our best Colorado landscape photography.

Morning photo: First wildflowers!

Wet spring promises great blooms

FRISCO — Wow! Colorado wildflowers are awesome most years. Even when things are on the drier side, the shady, cool nooks and crannies in the mountains yield abundant blossoms, but in a year like this, with prolonged spring rains, the plants have really responded. In some places where there may only be a few clumps in average or dry years, the entire ground is covered with a brilliant carpet of blooms. Get out there and enjoy!

Summit County: Dillon Reservoir expected to fill within a week

Denver Water juggling inflow, outflow

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After peaking later than average, the sremaining nowpack in the Blue River Basin is melting fast. Graph courtesy Denver Water.

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Flows in Blue River tributaries like Straight Creek are near their seasonal peak.

*Story corrected at 2 p.m. Dillon Reservoir outflow to the Blue River increased to 1,600 cfs Monday, July 15.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Dillon Reservoir should be full within a week, according to the latest update from Denver Water, which just bumped up the outflow to the Lower Blue to make room for more runoff the next few days.

As of June 15, Denver Water was releasing about 1.600 cubic feet per second from Dillon Reservoir, with about 2,200 cfs flowing in from the Blue River and its tributaries. And Denver Water is expecting more high inflows for the foreseeable future, according to a recent email update:

“A fresh look at the estimated level of snowpack above Dillon Reservoir … tells us there is still eight inches of snow in some places, meaning high flows can be expected for the foreseeable future. The good news is that inflows to Dillon Reservoir – which have ranged from 2,206 to 2,623 over the past several days – appear to be trending downward.” Continue reading

Morning photo: Summer light

A June photo jam …

FRISCO —I take most of my photos within a couple of miles of home here in Frisco partly because it seems kind of wasteful to drive around solely for the purpose of photography. But during the onset of the wildflower season, I sometimes venture just a little farther, visiting some of my favorite spots in the Lower Blue Valley, north of Silverthorne. During these longest days of the year, sunlight streams into the valley from the north, adding a new dimension to the Gore Range in the evenings. And this year, thanks to all the spring rain and snow, the wildflowers are going crazy, even in some of the dry, lower elevation sagebrush meadows, which are currently carpeted with colorful blooms. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for daily photo updates and visit our online Fine Art America gallery for some of the best Colorado landscape photography around!

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