Steamboat Springs The steady rain shower that followed a row of thunderclouds into Steamboat Saturday ended the chance the city would break the record for the least precipitation in the month of July.
The storm produced four-tenths of an inch of rain, boosting the total for the month to .49 inches. That's still well behind the pace for a normal July rainfall total of 1.57 inches.
The all-time low was .14 in 1971. Steamboat sat right at that record as July 19 dawned, but a late evening sprinkle produced .01 inches, according to the volunteer weather spotter for the National Weather Service. Saturday's shower produced another .44 inches.
The all-time heaviest July rainfall was measured in 1912, when the city received 4.98 inches.
The five-day forecast indicates that the best chance for additional rain will come on Thursday.
The forecast also foresees that Steamboat's unusual string of 90-degree daily highs has been broken.
After recording five days in June when the thermometer topped 90, July made heat the norm.
For the first two weeks of the month, nearly every day topped 90. That streak was broken briefly on July 14, when the high temperature was 87 degrees, the weather spotter said.
The streak resumed until Saturday, when the high was 83, one degree higher than the seasonal norm.
Of the first 20 days in July, all but two topped 90 degrees. This summer's spate of 90-plus temps is very unusual according to Gary Chancy of the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. Historical records show Steamboat averages just two 90-plus days in July. The frequency is even lower in June with less than one day above average on average. In August the city typically experiences a single 90-plus day.
Year to date precipitation in Steamboat totals just 7.82 inches compared to the average year to date of 13.61.
Drought and heat often go together the correlation can be attributed to the lack of clouds, Chancy said.
Grand Junction saw 37 straight 90-plus days going back to June, Chancy added. That streak was also broken on Saturday,
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