Mild autumn expected to continue
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — September temperatures were above average across most of the intermountain West, with dry conditions prevailing, especially in Wyoming, northern Utah and southeastern Colorado, according to the monthly climate summary from the Western Water Assessment.
In parts of Wyoming and Utah, temperatures were as much as 4 degrees above normal, while pockets of cooler-than-average readings occurred in eastern Colorado.
September precipitation was below average across the region, especially in much of Wyoming, northern Utah, and southeastern Colorado, which recorded less than 40 percent of its average September precipitation. The only wet anomalies of note were in parts of southern Utah and east-central Colorado, where a single storm dropped a record-breaking 6 inches of rain on Colorado Springs.
For the 2011 water year ending Sept. 30, the region mostly experiences wetter-than-average conditions, with more than 150 percent of average precipitation occurring in much of northern and western Utah, southwestern Wyoming, and northwestern Colorado.
Most of this widespread wet anomaly occurred during the December–May period as the storm tracks consistently favored those regions, leading to record snowpacks in many mountain locations. Both Utah and Colorado experienced a strong gradient from wet conditions in the northwest to dry in the southeast, with southeastern Colorado seeing less than 70 percent of average precipitation for the water year.
After a large and moist storm system moved through the region during the first week of October, manyt high-elevation SNOTEL sites throughout the region showed well-above-average snow-water-equivalent readings for the date, with some sites in southwestern Colorado, northeastern Utah, and central Wyoming reporting up to 4 inches of snow-water equivalent.
The full Western Water Assessment October report is online here.