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Old 02-02-2013, 11:25 AM
8,317 posts, read 25,183,346 times
Reputation: 9067


Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post

Given that the snow pack is at 75% I am not as concerned as I was about a month ago. Especially since the snowiest months are yet to come.
Boy, you just don't get it. Even if we got 150% or 200% of normal precipitation for the rest of the winter and early spring--which is highly unlikely, we would still be facing serious water problems in Colorado this summer. There is no way to put any kind of a "happy face" on Colorado's current water situation. It's BAD--the only question is "How bad?" and "How long is it going to stay bad?" Based on the current situtation and likely dismal forecasts to come shortly, the answer is likely to be "Real bad," and "For several years."

Old 02-02-2013, 01:15 PM
Status: "Should have been a cowgirl!" (set 11 days ago)
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,323 posts, read 3,999,750 times
Reputation: 9559
I was rather surprised to read the following in the usually upbeat, everything's coming up roses (through the economic graveyard) Cortez Journal (02/02/13):

Nolan Doesken, Colorado's state climatologist, said the summer of 2012 was the hottest on record in Colorado. And it was the fifth-driest winter since record-keeping began more than 100 years ago.

Despite storms in the San Juan Mountains, this winter hasn't been much better.

"We've had a wimpy winter so far," Doesken said. "The past week has been a good week for Colorado precipitation."

However, the next week's forecast shows dryness returning to much of the state.

Reservoir levels are higher than they were in 2002 - the driest year since Coloradans started keeping track of moisture - but the state is entering 2013 with reservoirs that were depleted last year.

"You don't want to start a year at this level if you're about to head into another drought," Doesken said.

It was hard to find good news in Friday morning's presentations, but Bledsoe is happy that technology helps forecasters understand the weather better than they did during past droughts. That allows people to plan for what's on the way.
(emphasis my own)

We continue with this happy talk, everything-will-be-fine attitude at our own peril. Colorado ranchers and farmers are going through some of the most difficult times since the dust bowl-like '50's. The forests are dying. The tourist industry STILL hasn't come back to pre-recession levels. Meanwhile people on the front range keep putting in lawns of Kentucky bluegrass and newcomers complain about Colorado's "wierd" water laws.

ALL Coloradans need to understand what many of us on the Western Slope already do about water rights and the continuing drought. Serious decisions need to be made in regard to how the state can best address issues which are already impacting Colorado's economy and may well slam it into the ground unless preventive measures are taken.

I love Colorado. But by pretending there's no problem, we ensure there will be no solutions.
Old 02-02-2013, 03:56 PM
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Reputation: 9067
Amen, Colorado Rambler. By the way, I've met Mr. Doesken and he has probably forgotten more about Colorado climate than most people will ever know. When he makes statements such as what you quoted above, people had better listen.

Doesken knows that one decent week of precipitation out of a whole winter season so far shouldn't loll anyone into complacency. If anything, it demonstrates how bad things really are when people are rejoicing over, what in any normal winter, would be a commonplace week of precipitation. It will be interesting to see what the CPC drought forecast looks like when it comes out on Feb. 7th--I can't imagine that it will be good.
Old 02-03-2013, 11:56 AM
Status: "Not politically correct" (set 20 days ago)
Location: Western Colorado
10,634 posts, read 11,722,677 times
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Mid and high level clouds increase today as a disturbance pulls moisture up from the southwest underneath a ridge of high pressure. There is a slight chance of some light snow over the San Juans, but cloudy skies will be the rule for most locations. Mild, above normal temperatures will be seen today through the week, with the exception being the northern valleys where shallow inversions will take hold. Several weak disturbances will move through during the week, causing the ridge to break down, resulting in some mid and high level clouds from time to time with a slight chance of flurries over the higher terrain. The next potential winter storm looks to impact the area towards the end of the week into the weekend with widespread precipitation and colder temperatures.
Old 02-03-2013, 01:30 PM
Status: "Not politically correct" (set 20 days ago)
Location: Western Colorado
10,634 posts, read 11,722,677 times
Reputation: 24431
A very good article in today's Grand Junction paper about the drought:

Water watch | GJSentinel.com
Old 02-07-2013, 09:03 AM
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It's been in the mid 40's the last few days in the Grand Junction area but there is a system coming tomorrow afternoon/evening that will bring snow showers late Friday night and continuing off and on until Sunday morning. Mountain wise they're calling for 12 to 14 inches according to KKCO, GJ's NBC affiliate.
Old 02-07-2013, 09:30 AM
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Well, the latest drought status and drought forecasts have just been issued by the Climate Prediction Center. As I've been saying for weeks now, I expected them to be pretty dismal for Colorado--and, sadly, I'm pretty much right. The forecast basically covers most of the rest of the winter snowpack season, and it is not good.

Current status:


The current status shows all of Colorado in remaining in long-term drought from severe to exceptional. I hope that people reading this actually understand the term "exceptional"--meaning something way far beyond the norm.

The forecast has one glimmer of hope for Colorado, a forecast for some improvement in drought conditions in the Four Corners region of southwest Colorado. Unfortunately, the CPC discussion indicates that prediction for improvement was based on the one fairly intense winter storm system that did hit the region last month and, therefore, the confidence in the prediction for improvement going forward was "low." Conversely, the confidence level in the prediction for drought persistence in the rest of Colorado is rated as "moderate."

Nowhere in the forecast was there any indication of predicted precipitation levels to reach far enough above normal levels to remedy any of the long-term drought conditions (hydrological drought) that are persisting in the central to southern Rocky Mountains and the adjoining Great Plains, along with a good portion of the remainder of the West. This portends a very poor year for Colorado agriculture--an industry that, though the city-slickers are loathe to admit--comprises one of the four largest components of economic activity in Colorado. The continuing drought does not portend well for the summer tourist season, another major component of the Colorado economy.

Much as the Pollyannas would like to, there is no way to put a "happy face" on this.
Old 02-07-2013, 10:15 AM
Status: "Not politically correct" (set 20 days ago)
Location: Western Colorado
10,634 posts, read 11,722,677 times
Reputation: 24431
I talked to quite a few farmers and ranchers around me yesterday, everyone is absolutely scared to death about water this summer.

Upcoming forecast:

On Friday a strong Pacific system will move into the Great Basin then continue over Utah and Colorado through the weekend. Heavy snow and strong winds causing blowing and drifting snow will hit the mountains of western Colorado and Utah, especially the San Juan mountains, the West Elk and Sawatch mountains and the eastern Uinta Mountains. A foot or more of snow is possible in those areas. Rain, and rain mixed with snow, are expected at lower elevations.
Old 02-07-2013, 10:16 AM
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,756 posts, read 16,497,453 times
Reputation: 9292
jazzlover wrote: As I've been saying for weeks now, I expected them to be pretty dismal for Colorado--and, sadly, I'm pretty much right.

YOU and all the rest of us are ALWAYS right. We get whatever we expect. Get over yourself. It's no big deal to be right. As I've been saying for almost 6 years now on this forum, expectations influence outcomes. Apparently, many other negaholics have been holding expectations of a similar outcome. And you know what...It's not yet a done deal. IF there are more people having expectations of above average precipitation in the Colorado high country, then that is how it will play out. If the negaholics prevail, then their expectations will come to pass. If you choose to wallow in your negative expectations, then acknowledge that you are part of the problem. Wake up and recognize that your mindset has an impact on what plays out.
Old 02-07-2013, 01:22 PM
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,106 posts, read 20,417,798 times
Reputation: 4148
More rain in Pueblo last night. I am not sure but in the city I don't think it changed to snow at all. This is the second storm to be all rain this winter.
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