Summer rainfall outlook still uncertain
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The biggest uncertainty for the course of this summer’s fire season is whether the monsoon will arrive on schedule — or perhaps even a bit early — to soak Colorado with beneficial rains, and for now, the answer is still uncertain.
The larger Pacific weather patterns are in a transitional phase. With winter’s La Niña officially over, it’s unclear if and how quickly an El Niño might form, or whether neutral conditions will persist over the Pacific for the next few months.
The El Niño-La Niña cycle drives not only the winter storm track, but also has an effect on summer weather patterns. El Niño is marked by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific, while La Niña is signalled by cooler waters.
Some forecasters have suggested that a quick shift to a strong El Niño could bring better chances for a solid monsoon season to Colorado, but forecasting skills for the summer rains are not completely reliable. (more…)
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