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Old 09-13-2013, 01:42 PM
 
1,425 posts, read 2,536,476 times
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KKTV posted this on their facebook page from KCNC. Aerial view of longmont, lyons and boulder. Doesn't say exactly where.

https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/...85462881_n.jpg

 
Old 09-13-2013, 06:18 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highplainsrus View Post
so sorry for all those in harm's way and grateful for the first responders.
first the 100 year drought, then 100 year beetles/fires, then 100 year flood. is a 100 year blizzard next?
I suspect that this horrific flood is going to be closer to a 500 year incident rather than a 100 year one. What's next is more rides on the roller coaster. Twenty years ago and more climate scientists told us that exactly these sorts of things were in our future. The future is now.

Me, I'm hoping for unusually heavy snowfall in the mountains. You can keep any potential 100 year blizzards - that would REALLY suck.
 
Old 09-13-2013, 08:43 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,920 posts, read 102,401,145 times
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^^You know, after a cold spell in July, some people will say, "Global warming isn't weather". After a 100 (or 500) year flood, the same people say "Global Warming"! Now I "believe" (if that's the word) in GW, but the above is a bit contradictory. If a 100 years' flood occurs approx every 100 years, it's just weather.
 
Old 09-13-2013, 08:45 PM
 
Location: high plains
493 posts, read 702,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
I suspect that this horrific flood is going to be closer to a 500 year incident rather than a 100 year one. What's next is more rides on the roller coaster. Twenty years ago and more climate scientists told us that exactly these sorts of things were in our future. The future is now.

Me, I'm hoping for unusually heavy snowfall in the mountains. You can keep any potential 100 year blizzards - that would REALLY suck.
If El Nino ever returns, things might get even more interesting.
 
Old 09-13-2013, 09:45 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,703 posts, read 4,343,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^You know, after a cold spell in July, some people will say, "Global warming isn't weather". After a 100 (or 500) year flood, the same people say "Global Warming"! Now I "believe" (if that's the word) in GW, but the above is a bit contradictory. If a 100 years' flood occurs approx every 100 years, it's just weather.
"Just" weather, eh? Well, let's see:

Devastating long-term drought haunts the U.S. Southwest. There are water wars under way between Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming.

We have outbreaks of at least 5 different species of pernicious insects like pine beetle which have, so far, destroyed enough forest in so many places in the Western US that it's the equivalent to the size of the state of Washington. Imagine Washington State covered in forest - all of the trees dead.

We have had two major forest fires in Colorado Springs region, one right after another - Waldo Canyon last year; Black Forest this year. My dear, Colorado Springs doesn't have fires any more than the Saint Vrain is a raging torrent of water, dividing any town it flows through in half. The St. Vrain is a nice little Colorado trout stream - a good place to fly fish for "tight assed little brookies," as Colorado author John Gierach calls them. I used to know Gierach. He lives in Lyons close to the St. Vrain. I hope his home isn't underwater tonight.

We have the 100/500 year (whatever) flood with the Boulder region declared a national disaster area.

All of these things wham, wham, wham one after another. Just weather?

What more do you want? Hurricane Katrina?
 
Old 09-13-2013, 10:08 PM
 
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I've been away from the forum due to work commitments, and I admit to not having time to read the latest posts on this thread, but I will make comment about the storms and flooding in Colorado over the last few days.

First, these weather events are definitely of historic significance, but are not "unprecedented" or 500-year events. In fact, this type of weather event has affected different parts of Colorado with near equal severity several times in the last century or so.

Let's talk about "normal" and then put these events in context. In a normal summer, most Colorado precipitation is the result of the westward expansion of the Bermuda High. As the Bermuda High expands in size during the spring, its clockwise motion "fetches" moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and pushes it northward. That is why the central and southern Plains states see a precipitation maximum in the spring months of March-June. Eventually, as the High continues to expand, that moisture plume will reach the Front Range, usually peaking in June to early July. By mid-July, the Bermuda High has expanded westward far enough to fetch moisture from the Gulf of California, as well as the Gulf of Mexico, and bring it into the Southwestern states, forming what is known as the Southwest Monsoon that brings an August peak to precipitation in western and southern Colorado. Usually, by around mid-September, the Bermuda High begins to shrink and retreat to the east, bringing to a close the summer precipitation season in most of Colorado.

So, what happened this year? Well, for one thing the Southwest Monsoon has behaved rather strangely. Its onset was rather timely, but it quickly gained a lot of strength, affecting Arizona and areas of central and southern New Mexico very strongly. Oddly, much of the July and August monsoon precipitation in areas like New Mexico was concentrated in the usually drier lower elevation areas where near-daily heavy thunderstorms pounded many locales over and over again. The central New Mexico mountains got pounded relentlessly, while northern New Mexico mountains and the southern Colorado mountains got somewhat heavier monsoonal precipitation, but nothing especially exceptional. Areas of the southern Front Range in Colorado also got heavier than normal precipitation, with that feature creeping northward farther and stronger than normal in the last few weeks. All of these events could be characterized as unusual, but not overly exceptional. The Southwest Monsoon is well known for being a relatively fickle creature, both from year-to-year, and even from day to day.

What took this from a somewhat exceptional event to a historic one: the same thing that is led to several historical high precipitation events in Colorado over the last century or so: The remnants of a Pacific tropical storm slamming into and becoming entrained in a vigorous Southwest Monsoon flow. The result is copious rain events that can occur over wide areas and extend into areas not normally so affected by the monsoonal flow, the northern Front Range of Colorado being one in this case. Another unusual feature is what is known as "training." Training occurs when one storm destabilizes the atmosphere sufficiently to initiate convection behind it, and steering winds carry the newly formed storm over the same terrain on the same path as the first storm. That is a relatively uncommon event in the southern Rockies (because there is generally neither sufficient moisture nor sufficient heating to support it), but I observed it happen on numerous occasions this summer. In one case, I saw no less than 5 separate storms "train" across the same locale in a 12-hour period, each bringing more rain, a lot of lightning, and some hail. Certainly a fun event for a storm-watcher like me.

As I said, this flood/rain event is not a 500-year event. A few others that have occurred in the last 125 years:

October 1909 flood. In Colorado, this flood event affected mainly the Southwest areas of the state, causing widespread flooding and damage. The cause was remnants of a tropical storm slamming into southwest Colorado.

October 1911 flood. In Colorado, this flood event affect mainly southwest Colorado once again. It is considered one of the most devastating floods to ever hit southwest Colorado. Once again, the remnants of a Pacific tropical storm was the culprit.

Labor Day weekend 1970 flood. This event caused severe flooding all across the American Southwest. In Colorado, southwest Colorado was the prime target--though flooding there was not as severe as in other areas of the Southwest. In Colorado, the 1970 flood was ranked as worse than the 1909 flood, but not as severe as the 1911 flood. I was a witness to the 1970 flood, up close and personal. (I was also an up-close and personal witness to the 1965 South Platte flood in Denver, but it was not caused by a tropical storm.)

What makes this latest Pacific tropical storm enhanced rain event somewhat unusual is that it concentrated its vigor on the Front Range of Colorado, while leaving the southwest portion of Colorado relatively unscathed. This was due in part to an unusual oscillation of the Southwest Monsoon that took the Pacific moisture from the tropical storm, along with a lot of Gulf of Mexico moisture and skidded it in and along the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in New Mexico and then in and along the Front Range in Colorado. Thus, this event came to impact the Front Range much harder than did the aforementioned earlier flood events in Colorado.

One final note: these events are not uncommon in drought years and do not necessarily indicate any break in a drought caused by insufficient winter snowpack. Some global warming experts believe that wetter and more violent summer weather may occur in the southern Rockies in global warming scenarios, while winter precipitation necessary for adequate water supplies will concurrently decline. This summer has featured generally warmer temperatures in much of the southern Rockies, especially at higher elevations and particularly at night. Both favor earlier and stronger air convection that will generate more intense storms if adequate moisture is available to fuel them. Only the passage of more years will tell us whether or not the current warming scenario is a natural fluctuation in the southern/central Rockies climate or something much more ominous and potentially permanent. One thing can certainly be said--this summer's weather has not been dull in much of the Rocky Mountain region.

Last edited by jazzlover; 09-13-2013 at 10:28 PM..
 
Old 09-14-2013, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,305,744 times
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My thoughts are with all the people affected by the flooding -- and all the first responders and National Guard troops who have been rescuing people. Stay safe.
 
Old 09-14-2013, 06:50 AM
 
Location: CO
2,591 posts, read 5,991,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I've been away from the forum due to work commitments, and I admit to not having time to read the latest posts on this thread, but I will make comment about the storms and flooding in Colorado over the last few days.

First, these weather events are definitely of historic significance, but are not "unprecedented" or 500-year events. In fact, this type of weather event has affected different parts of Colorado with near equal severity several times in the last century or so.

Let's talk about "normal" and then put these events in context. . .

So, what happened this year? Well, for one thing the Southwest Monsoon has behaved rather strangely. Its onset was rather timely, but it quickly gained a lot of strength, affecting Arizona and areas of central and southern New Mexico very strongly. . .
What took this from a somewhat exceptional event to a historic one: the same thing that is led to several historical high precipitation events in Colorado over the last century or so:
. . .

As I said, this flood/rain event is not a 500-year event. A few others that have occurred in the last 125 years. . .
What makes this latest Pacific tropical storm enhanced rain event somewhat unusual is that it concentrated its vigor on the Front Range of Colorado, . . .

One final note: these events are not uncommon in drought years and do not necessarily indicate any break in a drought caused by insufficient winter snowpack. . . One thing can certainly be said--this summer's weather has not been dull in much of the Rocky Mountain region. . .
All true; as we've been saying upthread, what's making this storm historic, epic - we're even hearing broadcasters use the term biblical - is how widespread it is.

The areas affected have all been affected by floods before - that's not something new or unexpected. It's how so many are affected, and not in minor ways, and how it's still spreading, and how it's affecting the infrastructure that so many of us depend upon.

Remember the March snowstorm in 2003? Record snowfalls in many parts of the state (but not in the High Country). Similarly to the storm we're living in now, the widespread-ness of it magnified its impact. Historic, not so much because of the depth of snow, though that was significant, but by how much of Colorado was affected-

In the storm we've been living in the last few days (southeast Boulder has had 18.44 inches of rain so far [there's more in the forecast]; that's more than normal annual precipitation) urban, rural, suburban, agricultural, industrial are all affected; so many of us united in our geography, separated by our creeks and rivers in ways we've not seen before; I also remember the Labor Day weekend 1970 flood, and the Big Thompson Flood; I know well that I have been required to have Federal flood insurance for properties I've owned, homes I've lived in, because they're in the 100 year Flood Plain. That there is flooding affecting any of these areas comes as no surprise; the surprise is how large the area affected is.

Reports now coming from Weld County, at the confluence of the St Vrain & South Platte, sound clips of some Old-Timers there, rural/agricultural folks whose families have been there far more than 100 years saying they've never seen it so high - historic indeed.

Hope you are all staying high and dry, and, if necessary, have been able to climb to safety.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 09-14-2013 at 09:26 AM..
 
Old 09-14-2013, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,067 posts, read 12,423,360 times
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Shower activity is expected to pick up today through Sunday as the low pressure system responsible for all the recent moisture tracks across Utah and Colorado. Scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms will occur through Sunday with heavy rain and potential for localized flooding in stronger storms. Drier air slowly moves into the region behind the low pressure system this coming work week, with enough moisture lingering for afternoon thunderstorms over the higher terrain. Temperatures will be on a warming trend heading into the coming week.
 
Old 09-14-2013, 09:11 AM
 
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Looks like Cactus Jacks in Evergreen got pretty wiped out, and part of the road downtown collapsed. Anyone know if and how badly the Upper Bear Creek in Evergreen flooded?
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