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Old 09-15-2006, 11:27 AM
Location: Texas Hill Country
290 posts, read 760,909 times
Reputation: 140


Howdy. The following link is a precipitation map of Colorado:


The following a climate summary for Durango:


These data sometimes do not tell the "whole" story. Is 19 inches/year accurate for the town of Durango? How variable is it ... ie., is this an average of years that swing from under 10 inches to over 30 inches? How far up in elevation do you have to go to get to the 30 inch areas?

I am considering the area for retirement ... and have used rainwater harvesting/collecting for years now. I'm just trying to get a handle on how viable an alternative it is in and around Durango. Thanks for any and all information ... and opinions ... especially crackerjack, thanks for past answers/info. Y'all take care.
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Old 09-16-2006, 03:47 AM
827 posts, read 4,540,806 times
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Aggie, yes rain and snow will vary greatly around La Plata County, where Durango is located. Generally the rule of thumb is,(but there are exceptions I will mention later):
Durango gets about the amount listed and most of the rain falls in the summer or July, August and sometimes September. Often it will rain every afternoon in those months. North of Durango past Hermosa, it will get more and the more north you go, the more rain and snow it gets. Up at Silverton, it can get an incredible amount of rain and snow. Bayfield, Gem Village and east of Durango get about what Durango gets but as you go south, it will get less snow and rain. The further south you go, the less rain and snow you will get. At the New Mexico border, it changes into a desert and it continues to get less snow and rain until you get to Farmington which will get the least of all. Now west of Durango has several different climates. West of Durango, say at Durango West, it will get more rain and snow. You will notice it is a lot greener going west from Durango. As you get to Hesperus, it will get even more rain and snow. Now as you go from Hesperus to Mancos it starts to reverse, less snow and less rain. As you go to Mesa Verde, it gets less rain and snow and it will look more desert looking at Mesa Verde and as you get to Cortez, it will get less snow and rain than Durango. Cortez is one of the most mildest places in Colorado. So there is a lot of different climates just around that area.

Now as I said earlier, there are other factors that come into play. One is El Nino. El Nino usually means there will be more rain and snow in the areas of the southwest like Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. It happens every so many years, like maybe once every 5 to 10 years or so. During La Nina, it means usually less snow and rain for the southwest. Then there is the Pineapple Express that comes out of Hawaii and brings more snow for the southwest. There is the monsoon season of the summer that brings tropical rains to the southwest, which is why Durango has rain during the summer months. Then there are hurricanes coming from the Gulf of California and bring additional rains during September and October. Durango won't have the winds or anything like that, just the rain. Afterwards, the rest of the year, it is usually clear sunny days with a few snow days and that is it. This summer has been strange for all the southwest with more rains then usual. New Mexico has seen more rain in ABQ then ever recorded before. Anyway, that is a general guideline. Hope this helps!
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