Augusts one of driest on record in Steamboat

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— In spite of the fact that it rained 11 days in August, the month that ended Wednesday marked the fifth driest on record in Steamboat Springs, according to records that go back to 1909.

Local weather observer Art Judson recorded 0.68 inches of rain at his weather station between downtown and the ski mountain. That compares with the August average of 1.63 inches.

August rainfall often is driven by a monsoonal pattern that pumps subtropical moisture into the Colorado Rockies through Arizona. While the monsoon hung on into August this year, it began earlier than usual in July and appeared to have spent itself before August arrived. July, typically the second driest month of the year in Steamboat, was quite the opposite this summer. Last month was the second wettest July on record for Steamboat, with 3.68 inches of rain.

Judson said the official August period of record ended at 7 a.m. Wednesday, so Wednesday evening’s storm will count toward September’s rainfall total.

Judson’s records reflect that on nine of the 11 days when measurable rain fell in August, it was measured in hundredths of an inch. The heaviest precipitation events in August were the 0.15 inches that fell Aug. 1 and the 0.17 inches that fell Aug. 29.

Steamboat avoided an overnight frost in August, an event that is not uncommon. The average daily low was 46 degrees and the average daily high was 83.4 degrees. The coldest reading at Judson’s weather station was 41 degrees Aug. 8, and the warmest reading was 90 degrees Aug. 25.

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