Be prepared for variety in weaher conditions

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If current weather conditions continue, fire danger shouldn't be a worry for hunters in Northwest Colorado this fall.

But that could change quickly, says Jim Pringle a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

The region experienced a neutral pattern of El Niño Southern Oscillation through most of the summer. That means temperatures and precipitation should be close to average for October through December, Pringle said.

"If we're near normal the fire threat during that time period should not be a big threat," Pringle said.

"But there's a lot of things that could happen. A couple weeks of dry weather could change everything."

October is historically the wettest month of the year in Northwest Colorado, and November is the fifth wettest. It's not a bad idea to carry rain gear when hunting here early in the season, although later in the year, the chances of encountering snow far outweigh the chances of encountering rain, Pringle said.

The average high temperature in October is 61 degrees, and the low is 30 degrees. November's high is 43 degrees and its low is 19 degrees. December's average high is right at the freezing point, 32 degrees, and the low drops into the single digits at 9 degrees.

Moffat County snowfall in October ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 inches. As much as a foot of snow can fall in November, and December's snow ranges from 9 inches to 13 inches.

The chances of snow are always higher at high elevations, Pringle said. n

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