Monsoon delivers plentiful rainfall
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.
July is the warmest month of the year in Summit County, but August is not far behind, with an average daily high of 72.5 degrees at the Dillon site, where rainfall for the month average 1.77 inches, most of it usually coming early in the month.
In downtown Breckenridge, weather watcher Rick Bly tallied 2.99 inches of precipitation for July, slightly above the long-term average 2.32 inches, but still well below the totals from the last couple of years.
In 2012, the July total was 4.21 inches and in 2011, July moisture was 7.15 inches, with a record-breaking 24-rainfall event of more than 3 inches.
July’s rain brings the year-to-date total for Breckenridge to 96 percent of the historic average, with just a couple of months to go in the water year.
Based on records going back to the late 1800s, Bly said there has only been one measurable August snowfall in town, in 1960, when .5 inches piled up. Average precipitation for the month is 2.26 inches, and the wettest August on record was in 1963, with 6.73 inches.
The driest August on record was in 1985, with just 0.28 inches of moisture. The last two years in a row, August moisture has been below average, with just 1.88 inches of moisture.
In the bigger picture, Pacific Ocean conditions are still hovering between El Niño and La Niña, with the odds favoring a third La Niña winter in a row, something that hasn’t happened in quite a while. That means that meteorologists are scratching their heads about what the fall and winter will bring.