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National Weather Service revamps winter storm warnings

Experimental forecasts will acknowledge varying threat levels at different elevations

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Graphics issued with winter storm warnings will change to make it more clear that elevation is a factor in winter storm conditions. Graphic courtesy NWS.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Planet Earth may be warming steadily, but a few pockets — including right here in Colorado — have been experiencing some chilly temperatures recently.

That includes Grand Junction, Colorado, where forecasters say December 2013 is headed for an all-time record low average temperature. Through Dec. 12, the West Slope town has averaged just 12.8 degrees Fahrenheit, 1 degree colder than the previous record set in 1978.

But don’t let the local cool temps fool you — NASA data released Dec. 13 shows that, globally,  November 2013 was the hottest since 1880, pretty much when accurate record-keeping started. All three record-warm Novembers have come within the past four years, putting to rest the global warming denier myth that there’s a pause in global warming.

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NOAA flights to track winter storm breeding grounds

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Flying out of Hawaii, a NOAA jet will measure winter storm development in the Pacific.

New data could help improve Colorado snow forecasts

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Winter weather forecasts for the Colorado high country could get a little better the next few years, after meteorologists have a chance to evaluate data collected over the north Pacific Ocean the next two months.

NOAA said it’s deploying a twin-engine Gulfstream IV-SP aircraft, typically used to study hurricanes, to measure wind speed and direction, pressure, temperature and humidity in areas of the Pacific where North American storms breed and where taking measurements is difficult and data is sparse. Continue reading

Colorado: Finally, some snow in the forecast

Weather change coming, details uncertain

A Gulf of Alaska low will start to move toward western Colorado later this week.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — All those snow dances and sacrificial bonfires could pay off late this week as the weather pattern across North America looks to flip-flop, with high pressure in the West giving way to a broad Pacific trough that promises to bring widespread precipitation to the region.

But it’s too early to tell exactly where the snow will fall. For now, the forecast models are predicting that a vigorous cold front will cross Colorado Friday night into Saturday, bringing the best chance for snow. Continue reading

Summit County: 46 trucks, 56,000 tons of sand …

Snow season is here, and CDOT says it's ready.

It takes a lot to keep Colorado’s highways open during big winter storms

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — With a series of winter-like storms forecast to move across Colorado during the next few days, the Colorado Department of Transportation says its ready to tackle the snow.

“We’re ready for this one and ready to battle a lot more snow and ice over the next few months,” said CDOT Deputy Maintenance Superintendent Dave Miller, who oversees the western portion of the Interstate 70 corridor between Idaho Springs and Vail Pass.  “All of our available resources will be up and running to keep the highways open and safe for travel this winter season.” Continue reading

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