Forecast news: More snow on the way for the Continental Divide #COdrought #COwx

December 26, 2012

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From the National Weather Service Pueblo office:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO
11 PM MST THURSDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PUEBLO HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 PM MST THURSDAY.

  • LOCATION…THE MOSQUITO AND SAWATCH MOUNTAIN RANGES ABOVE 11000 FEET.
  • CAUSE AND TIMING…A SLOW MOVING STORM SYSTEM WILL MOVE ACROSS THE REGION PRODUCING A PROLONGED PERIOD OF LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOW THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING.
  • SNOW ACCUMULATION…4 TO 8 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS.
  • WIND…SOUTHWEST TO WEST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 45 MPH.
  • IMPACT…TRAVEL WILL BE SLICK AND HAZARDOUS WITH SNOW PACKED AND ICY ROADWAYS. VISIBILITIES WILL BE REDUCED AT TIMES ADDING TO THE HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS.
  • Here’s the forecast map from the National Weather Service Grand Junction office from earlier this morning:

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    Snowpack news: Widespread snow across Colorado helps snowpack #COdrought #COwx

    December 26, 2012

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    From the Fort Collins Coloradoan:

    Much of Colorado enjoyed a white Christmas after a storm dumped up to 8 inches of snow in the northwest part of the state and up to 7 inches along the Front Range. The National Weather Service reported more than 8.2 inches west of Steamboat Springs and almost 7 inches near Eldorado Springs outside Boulder. Up to 6 inches was reported in the Grand Valley in west-central Colorado. The Denver area reported 2 to 2½ inches.

    From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Charles Ashby):

    Monday’s storm left about 3.2 inches of the white stuff on the Grand Valley by the time it cleared out of the area early Tuesday. That’s an inch below the record set back in 1962, according to weather service data.

    Powderhorn Mountain Restore atop the Grand Mesa reported Tuesday that the Christmas Eve storm dumped 14 inches of snow on its slopes, leaving it a base of about 38 inches.


    The drought is expected to persist across thew the western U.S. through March #COdrought

    December 26, 2012

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    Here’s the release from the Western Governors Association:

    The drought that made 2012 one of the driest in the years in the past century will likely persist across much of the West into March of 2013, according to the new Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook from the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    The Outlook combines maps, projections and other products that provide information to decision makers about current and likely future weather conditions. Among the features of this release is a chart depicting reservoir storage in each of the Western states, which is below average for all states but Washington and Montana.

    The Western Governors are focused on preparedness and resilience in the event of continued drought in 2013. Given the extent and severity of the current drought, WGA co-sponsored the National Drought Forum on December 12-13, 2012 in Washington, DC.

    “Drought impacts next year could be far more severe, especially given that the reservoir storage in many basins has been depleted,” said Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who spoke at the event.

    The Outlook is a quarterly publication that was developed by the WGA and NOAA after the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2011. WGA and NOAA have also co-sponsored two regional meetings, one in the Pacific Northwest and one in the Upper Missouri basin.

    All of the maps and information presented in the Outlook are also available from the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), which provides a number of online drought information tools at drought.gov. Western Governors were instrumental to the passage of NIDIS in 2006. NIDIS is currently up for reauthorization by Congress.

    NOAA also releases region-specific Outlooks, including documents that focus on the Central Region, the Southern Great Plains, and the Western Region.

    More coverage from Bob Berwyn writing for the Summit County Citizens Voice. Here’s an excerpt:

    Without a surplus moisture this winter, drought conditions are likely to linger, and potentially even worsen, across parts of the West in 2013…

    The cold season is typically the driest part of the year in most mid‐continental locations, so even with average seasonal precipitation, there will likely be little relief from the drought, according to the National Drought Monitor. The exceptions are Montana and California, where some relief is expected, based on early season precipitation.

    New Mexico has been hardest hit, with reservoir storage at just 18 percent of capacity, but storage is below average in all western state except Montana and Washington.


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