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Summit snow well below average in January

Drought continues in the Colorado River Basin

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Strings of goose eggs on the weather scorecard for Dillon.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — January 2012 will go down as one of the driest Januaries on record at the official National Weather Service site in town, where long-time observer Rick Bly measured just 6.55 inches of snow for the month.

Bly said that total was one of the five lowest January readings in the books. Going back more than 100 years, the average January snowfall in town is nearly two feet. The little bit of snow that did fall during the month was also excruciatingly dry. Bly said the snow-water equivalent was just 0.11 inches, compared to the historic average of 1.53 inches.

That means precipitation for the water year to-date (starting Oct. 1) is just 60 percent of average. Snowfall for the year to-date is also lagging well behind last year, at 43.85 inches. Normal for this time of year is 78 inches. Last winter, Bly had tallied 62 inches by this time of year. Continue reading

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Colorado water year off to one of the worst starts on record

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This year’s snowpack (orange) is lagging behind last winter and hovering close to the all-time record low.

November snowfall pitiful in Summit County

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The first two months (October and November) of the 2013 water year have been among the driest on record in Breckenridge, where weather observer Rick Bly tracks precipitation on a daily basis, adding to a data set that goes back more than 100 years.

Bly tallied just four inches of snowfall in November, only about 20 percent of the 20.9 inches that’s average for the month. That snow melted down to just .26 inches of water, compare to the average 1.5 inches for the month.

The historic average snowfall for October and November combined is about 33 inches. This year Bly has measured just 12 inches, less than about 64 percent below the average. Less than 1 inch of moisture has accumulated for the year to-date. Continue reading

Summit County: Winter gains some ground

January snowfall above average in Breckenridge

Statewide snowpack is at 72 percent of average.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Winter gained a bit of traction in January, as snowfall was above average for the first time this season, by about 20 percent. At his official National Weather Service observation site in Breckenridge, Rick Bly measured 27. 4 inches of snow, against the average 22.4 inches. Continue reading

Summit County: Autumn snowfall close to normal

November one of the driest months in the high country

November often brings the formation of spectacular lenticular clouds over the Continental Divide, as the overall weather pattern changes.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — October snowfall in Summit County was close to average in October with 12.4 inches at Rick Bly’s official observation station in Breckenridge, compared to the historic average 12.3 inches. But between the snow and some rain during the month, the snow-water equivalent for October ended up at 1.55 inches, about 22 percent more than the average 1.27 inches, according to Bly.

For Bly, October has long been an indicator month, when above-average snowfall often — but not always — portends continued snowy weather during the rest of the winter. This year’s middle-of-the-road total might suggest average snowfall for the winter, a forecast that’s in line with official predictions, based on moderate La Niña conditions.

In Dillon, where Denver Water records precipitation and temperatures, 7 inches of snow piled up during the month, compared to the historic average of 7.7 inches, based on records going back to 1909. The weather station moved once during that period, so the stats are from two different locations. Similarly, the water content of the snow was above average, at 1.49 inches compared to the normal 1.07 inches. Continue reading

Week in review, top stories

One Summit Voice story last week covered the demise of local video rental options with the closing of Blockbuster.

Weather and climate stories, as well as events in Washington, D.C. dominated the list of most-viewed stories

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The most-viewed story of the week was a sad one, as we reported on the untimely death of Leif Borgeson, a ski patroller at A-Basin well-known and well-liked by many, many people in the ski and snow safety community.

A couple of national stories with local implications were also on the list, with an op-ed on Republican global warming shenanigans and another report on planned GOP budget cuts. Click on the headlines to read the stories.

Another story that wasn’t on the list yet but has significant ramifications for Summit County is on a federal plan to shake up the housing finance market, potentially even getting rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Real estate: Feds want to revamp housing finance market. Continue reading

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