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Climate: Pollution causing drop in monsoon rains

A classic monsoonal flow of moisture, moving clockwise around a

A classic North American monsoonal flow of moisture, moving clockwise around an area of high pressure.

‘Human activity has played a significant role in altering the seasonal monsoon rainfall on which billions of people depend’

Staff Report

FRISCO — A 10 percent drop in overall monsoon rainfall in the northern hemisphere during past 50 years is outside the range of natural climate variability, Scottish researchers said after a detailed analysis of weather data.

After accounting for all the variables, the scientists said that emissions produced by human activity caused the drop. Tiny air particles from man-made sources — known as anthropogenic aerosols — were the cause. Continue reading

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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

Morning photo: Cloudplay

An early one …

Layers ... captured with iPhone HDR imaging.

Layers … captured with iPhone HDR imaging.

FRISCO — I’d describe this morning’s sky as surreal except that I’ve seen similar displays almost every month of the year here in the Colorado high country. I know that its very real, and today, with clouds roiling and frothing over the ridgelines of the various ranges, you could feel the atmosphere literally writhe with monsoon moisture, more liquid than air. Check out our online gallery, support independent journalism by purchasing a print or some greeting cards! Continue reading

Morning photo: Summit skies IV

Super moon, and then some …

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The July “super moon” sets over Peak 1 in Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO — A few lovely days and evenings in Summit County yielded a handful of fine images showcasing summery Colorado skies, and after an early morning dash around Dillon Reservoir, I even managed to get a halfway decent shot of the moon setting right behind Peak 1. I know the daily showers during monsoon season aren’t the most popular with anyone hoping to spend the whole day outside, but as a photographer, I really appreciate the color and texture of the clouds. If you like our daily snapshots please visit our online gallery at Fine Art America. Continue reading

Morning photo: Colorado skies …

Yes, more rainbows!

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September rainbow.

FRISCO — Friday’s brilliant double rainbow was a reminder of how dramatic Colorado skies can be, so for a quick Saturday photo set, I pulled together a few recent shots, along with a classic skyline view from the archives. Continue reading

Morning photo: End of summer …

Changes

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Dusk light on Dillon Reservoir.

FRISCO — Slowly, almost imperceptibly, summer is giving way — but not without a fight. Some years, a sudden cold snap at the end of August, often accompanied by a dusting of snow on the peaks, brings a sharp reminder of the fact that we live at 3,000 meters elevation. But not this year. Instead, the flow of moist, subtropical air out of the southwest has persisted, bringing moist relief to the forests of the Colorado high country. You can almost see the young trees drinking up the water. When the monsoon eventually ends, it’s going to be a rude awakening, at least for photographers who have been enjoying the rich play of clouds in the sky nearly every day. Continue reading

Morning photo: Best of August

Mountain brilliance …

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An August rainbow arcs to the east of the setting sun, framing part of Dillon Reservoir in Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO — It was a month of rainbows and intense sunrise scenes, not to mention plentiful monsoon rains that dampened the wildfire danger and helped spur a bumper crop of mushrooms in the Colorado high country. I always have a hard time picking the best images from any given month, so instead, I’ve tried to pick photos that best reflect the time of year and the overall flavor of the month. This year, the combination of slightly earlier sunsets with copious afternoon showers helped set the stage for numerous and brilliant rainbows. And earlier in the month, smoke from distant wildfires contributed to amazing sky glow during sunrise. Please visit our online gallery at FineArt America for a full selection of Summit County landscapes, available as fine art prints or greeting cards. Continue reading

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