October precipitation — 2012 no longer stands as the driest year on record for Greeley #CODrought

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From The Greeley Tribune (Eric Brown):

Don’t expect a parade in the streets from farmers, ranchers and water providers who’ve been battling drought all year, but 2012 no longer stands as the driest year on record for Greeley following a wet October. But it’s been plenty hot. Greeley received 1.35 inches of precipitation last month, 0.34 inches above the average for October and standing as the 12th­wettest October on record, according to figures provided by the Colorado Climate Center in Fort Collins.
Through the end of October, Greeley had received 7.47 inches of precipitation for the year, just more than half of the city’s average through the first 10 months of the year.

After standing as the driest year on record from the spring until the end of September, this year now stands as the second ­driest for Greeley, trailing only 1968. A portion of last month’s precipitation came from a couple rounds of snowstorms. Last month, Greeley received 2.1 inches of snow, falling short of the 2.8 inches the city receives on average in October and standing as the 16th­least snowy October on record. Agricultural producers and water providers are hoping the snowfall picks up its pace as the year rolls into winter.

With little rainfall in 2012, large amounts of water from reservoirs were used to grow crops and water lawns, and many of those reservoirs are now at historically low levels. Without snow this winter and spring to refill the reservoirs, irrigation supplies will be tight next growing season.

While October helped 2012 work its way out from the bottom of historic precipitation amounts in Greeley, it couldn’t do the same for the city’s record heat numbers. At the end of October, 2012 still stood as the hottest year on record for Greeley. The average mean temperature for the year was 59.0 degrees, nearly 3 degrees above the average.

A cold spell at the beginning of October this year kept last month from ranking high in heat historically. Last month, the average mean temperature was 51.5 degrees, only ranking as the 21st­ hottest October on record. The average high temperature last month was 66 degrees. Oct. 5 and 6 broke records for lowest high temperatures recorded on those days, 43 degrees and 38 degrees, respectively, breaking marks that temperatures recorded on those days, 43 degrees and 38 degrees, respectively, breaking marks that had been set in 1969 and 2000. On Oct. 7, the low for the day was 21 degrees, breaking that day’s previous record­low mark of 26 degrees, set in 1970.

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