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Breck snowfall above average 4 months in a row

Fourth-snowiest year on record in Summit County

Big snows coated the Gore Range in March 2014. bberwyn photo.

Big snows coated Colorado’s Gore Range in March 2014. bberwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Another month of above-normal snowfall has put Breckenridge on track for its fourth-snowiest winter on record, according to National Weather Service observer Rick Bly, who measured 37.4 inches at his backyard gauge.

That makes it the 10th-snowiest March, a month that sees average snowfall of 25.5 inches. Bly said precipitation has been above average for four straight months. During the current water year, which started Oct. 1, only November saw slightly below normal snowfall. Precipitation (the combination of melted snow and rain) for the water year to date is already at 15.2 inches, nearly six inches more than average. Continue reading

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Colorado weather: Soggy September

Near-record rainfall at Dillon and Breckenridge

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It was that kind of month …

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — If September felt a little soggy, it wasn’t just your imagination. The official  stats from the two National Weather Service observation sites in Summit County show that it was a month for the record books.

At Dillon, there was measurable precipitation on two out of every three days, totaling to 3.86 inches of water in what is usually one of the driest months of the year. And in Breckenridge, longtime weather observer Rick Bly measured 3.35 inches of precipitation, tied with 1908 as the second-wettest September of all time based on records going back to the late 1800s. Only September 1961 was wetter, with 3.74 inches of water. Continue reading

Colorado: After a wet August, Summit County precip ahead of average for the year

A monsoonal flow brought steady showers to Summit County in August.

A monsoonal flow brought steady showers to Summit County in August. bberwyn photo.

Moisture above average for the year to date

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — An extended monsoon season lifted August precipitation in Breckenridge to well above average, as weather-watcher Rick Bly tallied 4.22 inches of water for the month. The average rainfall for August is 2.26 inches; August 2013 was the wettest August since 1984.

“We had a good month for precipitation,” Bly said, adding that the rainfall often came at night, when it’s even more beneficial because it has a chance to sink into the ground before evaporating.

All in all, the 2012 water year has been up and down, with a “desperately dry October and November, according to Bly, followed by a so-so early winter and a gangbusters spring, with drought-busting snows in April and May. Continue reading

July precip above average in Summit County

Monsoon delivers plentiful rainfall

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Monsoon rains brought above-average moisture to Summit County in July.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — July brought above-average moisture to both official National Weather Service sites in Summit County, especially in Dillon, where the monsoon delivered 3.35 inches of water, about 1.47 inches more than average for the month.

At least a trace of precipitation was reported on all but seven days at the Dillon weather observation station, with the wettest days on July 25 and July 26, both delivering about a half inch of moisture.

The average daily maximum temperature at Dillon during July was 74.4 degrees, just .10 above average, but the daily average low temperature was 39.8 degrees, nearly 4 degrees above average, probably due in part to plentiful nighttime cloud cover. Continue reading

Summit County: May moisture well above average

Summit County was wet, but much of the state was dry

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The central and north-central Colorado mountains were a bullseye for May precipitation as well as below-average temperatures.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The two official National Weather Service observation sites in Summit County both reported above-average precipitation in May, helping to bolster snowpack and runoff in the Blue River Basin.

In Breckenridge, weather-watcher Ricky Bly reported 22.9 inches of snow, nearly double the long-time average of 10.9 inches based on records going back more than 100 years. It was the second month in a row with double the average snowfall. In April, Bly tallied nearly 50 inches of snow, making it the fifth-wettest April on record. Continue reading

Breckenridge moisture now above average for the year

Late season storms target north-central Colorado mountains

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Snow cover on Peak 8 at Breckenridge Ski Area reached a peak after the resort closed for the season. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — A surge of April moisture brought the year-to-date snowfall total in Breckenridge right up to average, according to National Weather Service observer Rick Bly, who said that last month ended up being the fifth-wettest April on record, dating back to the late 1800s.

Bly tallied 49.5 inches of snow, compared to the average 24.7 inches. The snow that fell in April was equivalent to 4.14 inches of water, nearly double the average of 2.1 inches. For the water year to-date, Bly has measured 12.3 inches of snow-water equivalent, nearly an inch above average. Continue reading

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

Colorado: Chilly January, but few records broken

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Several Colorado weather stations reported record-low daytime high temps in January.

Salt Lake City suffers through weeks of air quality problems

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — When the weather history of January is written, it might be all about the persistent cold air pools that lingered in many western valleys, setting the stage for record-low temperatures, something that’s been quite uncommon in recent years.

In Summit County, only one temperature record was broken during the month, a record minimum high of 7 degrees on Jan. 16 at the Dillon weather station. The previous record-old high temperature for the day was 9 degrees, set not all that long ago, in 2007.

No record highs were set in Summit County, but nearby, Climax broke its all-time record high for January 27, hitting 44 degrees. The previous record of 42 degrees was set back in 1927. A few spots nearby, notably Williams Fork Dam, set both daily record high and low readings. Continue reading

Colorado: Incoming storm may blast high country

Significant snow expected Friday into Saturday

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A developing storm in the Gulf of Alaska should bring some snow to Colorado by Friday.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO —After a mercifully short January thaw, forecasters say winter conditions could return to western Colorado by the end of the week, with significant snow possible Friday into Saturday, and the chance of on and off snow into the early part of next week.

The Grand Junction National Weather Service office has already hoisted a winter storm watch for the mountains of northeastern Utah, and forecasters will likely expand notices of advancing winter weather to western Colorado in the next few days.

A trough of low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska is forecast to drop into the Great Basin by Thursday, then move across the Colorado high country during the day Friday, with all ingredients in place for at least a period of moderate to heavy snowfall. Early forecasts are hinting at the possibility of 5 to 10 inches of snow for the Summit County area, with more possible in some favored areas. Continue reading

Colorado: The storm door is open

“You may want to call in sick and ride blue-bird powder for a few days prior to the apocalypse … ”        ~Colorado Avalanche Information Center

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A potent weather system is developing for the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

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Winter storm warnings, watches and advisories prevail across western Colorado and eastern Utah. Click on the map for more details from the NWS.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Dreams of a white Christmas will come true for residents of the Colorado high country, as a series of winter storms will potentially drop up to several feet of snow across most of the state’s mountains in the days leading up to Santa’s arrival.

Most of the mountain areas are under winter storm warnings, watches and advisories for the early part of the week, as the wintry weather is expected to culminate with a strong system moving through the area Tuesday night that could deliver some “eye-popping” snowfall rates, according to the National Weather Service, which may soon be issuing blizzard warnings in some mountain zones.

The snow will also drastically increase the backcountry avalanche danger, where special warnings may be issues. Check in with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center for the latest. Already, large avalanches have been reported from a few locations, including Uneva Bowl, a popular powder skiing destination near Vail Pass. Continue reading

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