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Old 04-12-2012, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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Some good news for the mountains as there is a winter storm watch. Lets hope they get a lot of snow to help curb the fire danger and give us more snow pack.

This is from the NWS in Pueblo:


URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PUEBLO CO
300 PM MDT THU APR 12 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PUEBLO HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING.

* LOCATION...THE EASTERN SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS ABOVE 10000 FEET...THE LA GARITA MOUNTAINS ABOVE 10000 FEET...THE EASTERN SAWATCH MOUNTAINS ABOVE 11000 FEET AND THE WESTERN MOSQUITO RANGE ABOVE 11000 FEET. THIS INCLUDES WOLF CREEK...CUMBRES AND INDEPENDENCE PASSES.

* CAUSE AND TIMING...A LARGE STORM SYSTEM OVER THE WESTERN U.S. WILL MOVE SLOWLY ACROSS COLORADO OVER THE WEEKEND...BRINGING A PROLONGED PERIOD OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW TO THE MOUNTAINS ALONG THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE.

* SNOW ACCUMULATION...10 TO 20 INCHES OF SNOW IS POSSIBLE BY LATE SUNDAY EVENING...WITH TOTALS OVER HIGHER WEST FACING SLOPES APPROACHING 2 FEET.

* WIND...WEST TO SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 15 TO 30 MPH...WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH WILL BE POSSIBLE. THESE WIND WILL CREATE AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW...ESPECIALLY OVER HIGHER EXPOSED TERRAIN.

* IMPACT...TRAVEL WILL BE DIFFICULT AND HAZARDOUS OVER THE HIGHER MOUNTAIN PASSES...INCLUDING WOLF CREEK AND CUMBRES PASSES.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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As if we need more reminders, the dryness is being noted elsewhere in the press.

Here in the COLO SPGS area, we got a really good rain the other night, better part of an inch.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:20 PM
 
Location: CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
. . . we got a really good rain the other night, better part of an inch.
For the non-Coloradans reading, this shows how much we appreciate (and need) moisture, when the better part of an inch is worth commenting about!
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzco View Post
For the non-Coloradans reading, this shows how much we appreciate (and need) moisture, when the better part of an inch is worth commenting about!
Absolutely! Particularly in west end of the state.

Thankfully things have been calmer on the western slope for the most part, but no precip. We're getting warmer, in fact temps for Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be near 90. Winds at 10-15 m.p.h.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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It's all a matter of prspective. During the 6 years I've lived in Grand Junction, several local precipitation records have been broken with amounts well below 1 inch....actually, more like a half inch. In Virginia Beach where I spent 16 years before coming to GJ, few people are even aware that it is raining on those days when just a half of rain falls. In Grand Junction a half inch of rain is a newsworthy event.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:04 PM
 
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I'm back from a swing across the southwestern part of Colorado. The conditions are pretty unbelievable for late April: Temperatures in the 70's and 80's during the day clear up to 8,000 ft. elevation--in many place 25 degrees above normal for this time of year. Not just for a day or two, either, but consistently for a number of days. In many areas, the snow is completely melted up to near 10,000 ft. elevation--this around 6 weeks early. At this rate, the southern Colorado mountains will be bare by Memorial Day. I've seen many years when areas over 10,000 ft. had six feet of snow on the ground on Memorial Day. Most rivers and streams have either peaked in flow, or will within a few days--this almost two months early, with flows far below normal.

Unless the Southwest Monsoon arrives early and vigorously, we will probably have almost unbelievable fire danger in the southern half of Colorado by June. People I know with contacts in the Forest Service say that Stage 3 restrictions may be necessary by June--that means forests essentially closed to all public use because of the fire danger.

As I've posted earlier, we may be poised for a fire season similar to 1879, when huge chunks of Colorado forests up to 10,000 ft. elevations burned with huge crown fires--landscape altering events that can take centuries before forests completely re-grow. The difference between now and 1879 is that Colorado forests are much more overgrown and unhealthy than they were back in 1879, and there is a huge amount of (stupid) human development that has occurred in some of the most fire-prone areas of many forests. A bunch of that could get "cleaned out" this year.

I've been around the forests of southern Colorado for a whole lot of years, and I have never seen conditions like this in April. Very scary.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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I hope you're wrong jazz, but I think you're right on this one. The Colorado river already has a very low water level, at a tme of the year when it is usually beginning to rise. The mean temperature in Grand junction thru April 22 is a very significant 3.95 degrees above the norm. Record highs in the upper 80s predicted for today and again tomorrow.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:57 PM
 
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Default Latest dismal drought forecast for Colorado

The latest drought forecasts for Colorado continue the trend of the last few months. The latest seasonal Drought Outlook from the Climate Prediction center shows drought either persisting or developing in all but northeastern Colorado:



The streamflow forecast issued on April 1st by the Natural Resources Conservation Service was equally as pessimistic for the whole state of Colorado. If my personal observations are any indication, the May forecast is likely to be even more pessimistic:



The climate outlook for this summer from the Climate Prediction Center is non-committal for precipitation in the southern Rockies, but predicts higher than normal temperatures.

All in all, a pretty grim outlook for anything approaching a "normal" Colorado summer and one that pretty much insures as vicious fire season if the predictions turn out to be accurate.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:19 PM
 
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I hope you all start getting some rain soon. Texans know the meaning of the word drought now. And I really feel your pain.

We are just now finally getting enough rain to bring us out of our drought which was severe last year, and started 2009-2010. Texas and Oklahoma were hit very hard with wildfires last year. We had roughly 4 million acres burn here in Tx alone last year during our fire season. Houston had 1 day of measurable rain in a 3 month period last year. Dallas had 70 straight days of 100+ degree days. It makes for some awful conditions. Texas Climate News | Snapshots of the drought: Impacts and implications of the record dry spell

When various parts of your entire state are faced with stuff like this, you learn a whole new respect for wildfires. This was in Bastrop, Tx - not too far from Austin:
Official Thread for all 2012 Colorado Fire Season Topics-smoke.png

And this is a real-time video of just how fast a wildfire can spread, especially when high winds are involved:
See how fast wildfire spreads - Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official] - YouTube

My heart and prayers go out to everyone in CO.

Last edited by lhafer; 04-23-2012 at 10:46 PM..
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:41 PM
 
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Thankfully it's been somewhat quiet the last couple weeks on this subject. A new one to report here.

News 11 Grand Junction has just reported a fire in Poudre Canyon northwest of Fort Collins. At this time it is about 100 acres.
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