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Old 07-21-2013, 03:49 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,797,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DurangoJoe View Post
Yes, it's hard to take rain forecasts seriously here in Durango because it might be pouring less than a mile away & be sunny, hot & dry where you are. Depends entirely upon how the storms come down off the mountains. Very much hit or miss on the rain here for sure. The Animas River has risen significantly this week yet Vallecito Reservoir is the lowest I've ever seen it. It was raining there when we were up there yesterday but from the looks of that reservoir, it's gonna take a lot more than a day or two of rain.
Unless an epic rain event occurs over a wide area, summer rains won't do a damned thing to help restore reservoir levels. This is the common misconception than people without Colorado climate knowledge make. Snowpack is what makes or breaks Colorado water supplies. Summer rain can reduce "agricultural drought" (demand from plants for moisture from soils), but will do little to relieve hydrologic drought (water reserves in lakes, reservoirs, or underground aquifers).

Rarely, meaning years or decades apart, an epic rain event can occur, especially in southwestern Colorado, during late summer or fall. It usually occurs from the remnants of a Pacific tropical storm or hurricane strong enough to reach Colorado. Examples in southwestern Colorado occurred in 1909, 1911, and 1970--all of which caused severe flooding in the Animas, Dolores, and San Juan River basins in southwest Colorado. When another of those occurs, there will be a lot of latter-day crap built in the Animas River valley north of Durango that will get destroyed--and deservedly so. I personally observed the 1970 flood--there is a lot of expensive crap there now that would have been totally destroyed had it been there in 1970. Nature's revenge against human stupidity is often a long time coming, but is usually remorseless when it inevitably does come along.

 
Old 07-21-2013, 04:17 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,700 posts, read 4,339,330 times
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OK. Even Accuweather is amusing itself with off the wall weather forecasts for Cortez. Under today's weather conditions it gives a warning/alert for next Wednesday when we apparently are going to be subjected to a series of violent thunderstorms. However, when I click on the extended forecast, it states that on Wednesday Cortez can expect to receive sunshine and "chance of t-storm." Ohhh-kay. Whatever.

The current temperature is 80 but it's supposed to "feel" like 78. Wrong. The current temp MAY be 80, but thanks to the humidity it FEELS like 90. As has been usual lately, we have plenty of monsoon looking clouds, but only a few drops of rain on and off thru the afternoon.
 
Old 07-21-2013, 07:42 PM
 
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Monsoonal moisture is a key ingredient for setting off afternoon thunderstorms in the southern Rockies during July and August, but it also takes atmospheric instability to get them going. Often, natural air convection and uneven heating of in hills and canyons is enough to get things going, but that can be a hit or miss proposition (a lot of "miss" lately in southern Colorado), especially if an air mass is relatively stable. One of the things that has been happening this summer in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico is that the diurnal variation between night and day temperatures has been less than normal in many places. That can tend to suppress convection. I've noticed that, in the last few days, the southern Colorado and northern New Mexico mountains have been generating a lot of clouds that have produced little rain there, but have pushed south to set off some humdinger storms central New Mexico, where the moist air collides with hot air in the valleys. The storms have tended to be slow-moving and have produced a lot of localized rain in areas normally not prone to heavy rain events. Meanwhile, the mountains, where the heavier rain usually occurs, have only been getting sprinkles or light rain showers, at best. As I've noted before, so far, this summer's "Monsoon" season in the southern Rockies has not been very normal.
 
Old 07-21-2013, 10:03 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Monsoonal moisture is a key ingredient for setting off afternoon thunderstorms in the southern Rockies during July and August, but it also takes atmospheric instability to get them going. Often, natural air convection and uneven heating of in hills and canyons is enough to get things going, but that can be a hit or miss proposition (a lot of "miss" lately in southern Colorado), especially if an air mass is relatively stable. One of the things that has been happening this summer in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico is that the diurnal variation between night and day temperatures has been less than normal in many places. That can tend to suppress convection. I've noticed that, in the last few days, the southern Colorado and northern New Mexico mountains have been generating a lot of clouds that have produced little rain there, but have pushed south to set off some humdinger storms central New Mexico, where the moist air collides with hot air in the valleys. The storms have tended to be slow-moving and have produced a lot of localized rain in areas normally not prone to heavy rain events. Meanwhile, the mountains, where the heavier rain usually occurs, have only been getting sprinkles or light rain showers, at best. As I've noted before, so far, this summer's "Monsoon" season in the southern Rockies has not been very normal.
This is certainly true for the Four Corners. It has not been getting as cool in the evening here as it normally does - lows have been in the low 60's insteads of the 50's whiles highs have remained about the same as always. Apparently the resulting 5 degrees or so less diurnal variation is enough to take the punch out of those clouds passing overhead. It's now clear this evening, so no rain today for us.

SW Colorado is at the epi-center of the drought. Rainfall from the monsoon has fallen here and there, but so far I'm not very impressed with this year's season. Things are just "off" out here - like not hearing the coyotes when I camped out on the Uncomphagre Plateau earlier this summer. There's ALWAYS coyote song up there, but not this time. The only explanation I can think of is that the drought has suppressed the rodent population in the vicinity of where I was and the coyotes have gone elsewhere to find better pickings. The two week climate forecast out of NOAA:

SEVERE DROUGHT FOR PARTS OF THE GREAT PLAINS, RIO GRANDE VALLEY, ROCKIES, SOUTHWEST, GREAT BASIN, CALIFORNIA, AND HAWAII.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,846,559 times
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jazzlover wrote: Nature's revenge against human stupidity is often a long time coming, but is usually remorseless when it inevitably does come along.

I don't think that nature engages in the human practice of revenge. Seems to me like you are projecting your own desire for revenge against some real or imagined wrong. Not saying that a big flood can't or won't happen, but if/when it does occur, it will have nothing to do with natures revenge against human stupidity.....simply nature making humans aware of their stupidity.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,846,559 times
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jazzlover wrote: the diurnal variation between night and day temperatures has been less than normal in many places.

That has definitely been the case in Grand Junction. In addition to a decrease in the diurnal variation between night and day temperatures during the warm half of the year, there has been an increase in the diurnal variation between night and day temperatures during the colder half of the year. The climate in recent years has accentuated the extremes. Is this the new norm or just a cyclical event?????
 
Old 07-22-2013, 08:32 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,700 posts, read 4,339,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
jazzlover wrote: the diurnal variation between night and day temperatures has been less than normal in many places.

That has definitely been the case in Grand Junction. In addition to a decrease in the diurnal variation between night and day temperatures during the warm half of the year, there has been an increase in the diurnal variation between night and day temperatures during the colder half of the year. The climate in recent years has accentuated the extremes. Is this the new norm or just a cyclical event?????
Climate change is real whether you look at it as Nature's "revenge" or a product of man's stupidity. I believe that the "new norm" will be that there are no more norms. The climate is going to oscillate with a general tendency to be warmer and drier as we go along. Some climatologists have postulated that the ultimate result of the warming trend will be a new ice age. This may be true, but I doubt that will happen in the life time of anyone reading this post.

ETA: Then again, the earth's climate has made abrupt changes in the past according to studies done on cores taken from the Greenland ice cap. Cross country ski's, anyone? The one sure thing is that we are in for some major changes in climate, and those changes will be very evident to everyone in the next 5 - 10 years - maybe sooner.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,174 posts, read 20,971,833 times
Reputation: 4258
We had some nice thunderstorms this weekend in Pueblo. Very nice lighting show too.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,062 posts, read 12,417,505 times
Reputation: 26016
NWS weather and drought update:


Weather and Drought Update for Western Colorado and Eastern Utah - YouTube
 
Old 07-22-2013, 08:20 PM
 
68 posts, read 148,730 times
Reputation: 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
This is certainly true for the Four Corners. It has not been getting as cool in the evening here as it normally does - lows have been in the low 60's insteads of the 50's whiles highs have remained about the same as always. Apparently the resulting 5 degrees or so less diurnal variation is enough to take the punch out of those clouds passing overhead. It's now clear this evening, so no rain today for us.

SW Colorado is at the epi-center of the drought. Rainfall from the monsoon has fallen here and there, but so far I'm not very impressed with this year's season. Things are just "off" out here - like not hearing the coyotes when I camped out on the Uncomphagre Plateau earlier this summer. There's ALWAYS coyote song up there, but not this time. The only explanation I can think of is that the drought has suppressed the rodent population in the vicinity of where I was and the coyotes have gone elsewhere to find better pickings. The two week climate forecast out of NOAA:

SEVERE DROUGHT FOR PARTS OF THE GREAT PLAINS, RIO GRANDE VALLEY, ROCKIES, SOUTHWEST, GREAT BASIN, CALIFORNIA, AND HAWAII.
The Four Corners area has turned into an overtaxed ozone trap. Cortez, Mancos, Durango, Bayfield - it's over. IF you believe in the climate change bull$__t then believe that the cool nights in this little hamlet are probably over as well. Who knows? Mancos looked good at one point, however upon further study the spells of warm summer nights and slacking air quality are not attractive at all.
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