June brings near-record dry conditions to Summit County

Temps run well above average for the month

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Summer time in Summit County. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — June, the second-driest month in Summit County, ended up especially dry this year, with only 0.26 inches of precipitation at the official National Weather Service site in Breckenridge, and even less — 0.19 inches at the Dillon station.

Averages for the two sites are 1.37 inches in Breckenridge and 1.14 inches at Dillon, where there was measurable precipitation on two days, June 18 and June 29.

The sparse total in Breckenridge made it the fourth-driest (tied with 2006) on record, dating back more than 100 years, said weather observer Rick Bly. The driest June ever (0.06 inches) was in 1980, during another notable Colorado dry spell, followed by June 1891 (0.10 inches) and June 2002 (0.24 inches).

But for the year to date, 2013 is still hovering close to average, with a total of 15.16 inches of precipitation, just a shade above the long-term average 14.57 inches, Bly said.

July could be a make-or-break month for the high country, with the summer monsoon usually making it the wettest month of the year, average 2.32 inches of precipitation. Snow is unusual, but not unheard of — a freak storm in the early 1980s deliverd 5.6 inches of snow, which is the all-time record for the month.

The wettest July on record was in 1892, with 7.19 inches, but Breckenridge came close to breaking that mark a couple of summers ago, with 7.15 inches of rain.

After several months with temperatures running slightly below average, June warmed back up, bringing well above average for the month. The average maximum daily high at the Dillon site was 72.3 degrees, 3.5 degrees above the long-term average of 68.8 degrees.

The average daily low temperature was 32.8 degrees, which is 1.4 degrees above the long-term average of 31.4 degrees. That may not seem like a huge difference, but keep in mind that it’s significant because it means the average daily low was above, rather than below, freezing.

Temperatures at Dillon reached the 80s four times, on June 11, and then again June 27-29, topping out at 83 degrees. The coldest day of the year was June 1, when it reached only 54 degrees, but daily highs never dropped below 60 degrees after that.

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