Posted on July 20, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Drought likely to persist for several more months
The National Climatic Data Center temperature map for June 2012 clearly shows the extraordinary heat centered over Colorado.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A tilt toward El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean could start putting a dent in the western drought, according to the latest update from the Western Water Assessment climate summary.
El Niño, when sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific climb above average, can help deliver average to above-average summer and fall moisture to Colorado and the Intermountain West, including drought-busting September rains in 2003 that helped end Colorado’s last serious drought.
El Niño doesn’t guarantee a wet winter. During many previous episodes, mid-winter conditions have been relatively dry, as the main storm track dives far to the south. But springtime during an El Niño phase can deliver copious precipitation to the Front Range and to the mountains along, and just east of, the Continental Divide.
The climate summary for June 2012 draws a number of comparisons to conditions in 2002, when conditions were even more dry across parts of western Colorado.
2002 extreme drought conditions were more widespread across Colorado than they are this year.
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, El Niño, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado weather, drought, El Niño-Southern Oscillation, El Nino, Intermountain West | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 9, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
June 2012 the 14th-warmest across Lower 48
Colorado was the nation’s hot spot in June. Map courtesy NOAA.
It was the driest June ever in Wyoming, while Colorado and Utah reported their second-driest Junes on record. Map courtesy NOAA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado was hot in June, and not just because of the destructive wildfires that scorched parts of the Front Range. The average statewide temperature for the month was 6.4 degrees above the historic average, making it the warmest June on record for the state.
Across the contiguous 48 states, the average temperature was 2 degrees above the 20th century average, making it the 14th warmest June on record. That was warm enough to make the first half of 2012 go down in the record books as the warmest first half of any year on record for the contiguous United States, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Visit the NCDC online for the full monthly report.
From another source, read Dr. Jeff Masters’ Wunderblog post on the recent heatwave.
The national temperature of 52.9 degrees for the six-month period was 4.5 degrees above average. Most of the contiguous U.S. was record and near-record warm for the six-month period, except the Pacific Northwest. Twenty-eight states east of the Rockies were record warm and an additional 15 states were top ten warm. At least 170 high temperature records were tied or broken for the month. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, global warming | Tagged: Intermountain West, June 2012 temperature records, June heat wave, June temperatures Colorado, National Climatic Data Center, state of the climate report June 2012 | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 16, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Warmer than average temperatures prevailed across much of the intermountain West during September.
Mild autumn expected to continue
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — September temperatures were above average across most of the intermountain West, with dry conditions prevailing, especially in Wyoming, northern Utah and southeastern Colorado, according to the monthly climate summary from the Western Water Assessment.
In parts of Wyoming and Utah, temperatures were as much as 4 degrees above normal, while pockets of cooler-than-average readings occurred in eastern Colorado.
September precipitation was below average across the region, especially in much of Wyoming, northern Utah, and southeastern Colorado, which recorded less than 40 percent of its average September precipitation. The only wet anomalies of note were in parts of southern Utah and east-central Colorado, where a single storm dropped a record-breaking 6 inches of rain on Colorado Springs. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, La Niña, Snow and weather, Summit County news, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: climate, Colorado, Intermountain West, Summit County News, Utah, weather, Wyoming | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 1, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Demand for skiing is expected to surge in the next few decades.
New research projects surge in demand for both developed and undeveloped skiing as population grows in the West
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Skiing could see another boom in the next few decades, perhaps equalling the growth spurt of the 1960s and 1970s, as projected demand grows by up to 50 percent by 2060, according to new data released this week by U.S. Forest Service and University of Georgia researchers at the National Association of Resource Recreation Planners conference in Breckenridge.
Demand for both developed and undeveloped skiing (covered resort-based lift-served skiing, crosscounty and backcountry) is forecast to grow faster than the demand for any other type of recreation, Forest Service researcher Ken Cordell said, explaining that the increase may be tied to an overall shift in demographics, as the population is projected to grow fastest in the Intermountain West and the Pacific Northwest.
The surge in demand for skiing could have huge implications for Forest Service land managers when they update forest plans. Meeting the new demand could require allocating new parcels of national forest system lands for ski area expansions, or even the development of new areas near communities where such plans are already controversial. (more…)
Filed under: Breckenridge, business, Colorado, economy, recreation, ski industry, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news | Tagged: Breckenridge Colorado, Gary Green, Intermountain West, Ken Cordell, National Association of resource recreation planners, recreeattion, Rocky Mountain, ski industry, skiing, Summit County News, United States Forest Service | 6 Comments »
Posted on May 21, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
A mule deer in a stand of lodgepole pine in Summit County, Colorado.
Colorado’s forests among the most complex in the West and provide much of the region’s water
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — As part of the International Year of Forests celebration, May 21, has been declared National Walk in the Woods Day, so snow, or no snow, get out and enjoy a forest near you.
“The value of our forests cannot be underestimated. In addition to providing clean air, water and wildlife habitat, forests in Colorado provide some of the most spectacular beauty in the American west,” said Rick Cables, regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region. “I hope everyone can take some time this Saturday to see firsthand how we all are connected to our forests.” (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, forests, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Colorado, forest, forests, Intermountain West, Summit County News, UN year of forests, United States, United States Forest Service | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 21, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Spring storms continue to beef up the snowpack in the northern Rockies.
Big snowpack in northern Rockies, intensifying drought in Southwest
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s the season for western water managers to keep a close eye on the snowpack and projected runoff, and the story in the early spring is the same as it was all winter long — well above average snowfall in the northern sector, with intensifying drought in big parts of the Southwest.
According to the Western Water Assessment, snowfall was significantly above the long-term norms in the northern Colorado mountains, the Wasatch Front in Utah and northern and western Wyoming, while little precipitation fell across central Wyoming, eastern and southern Utah and the plains of Colorado. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, La Niña, rivers, Snow and weather, water | Tagged: Colorado, Intermountain West, Lake Powell, snowpack, spring runoff, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Utah, Wasatch Front, West | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 4, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
September temperatures were well above average across much of the Intermountain West.
Climate summary shows interesting temperature and precipitation pattern; La Niña still strengthening for the winter
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — September weather stats compiled by the Western Water Assessment for the Intermountain West show that September was an exceptionally dry and warm month across Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, where large parts of the three states saw less than a quarter inch of precipitation.
Temperatures across the region were well above average for much of the month, with parts of eastern Colorado experiencing temperatures more than 6 degrees above average. Across nearly all of the region, temperatures were between 2 to 4 degrees above average. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Climate Prediction Center, Colorado, Intermountain West, Intermountain West climate summary, La Niña, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Summit County snow and weather, Utah, Wyoming | Leave a Comment »