Climatologist could shed light on scattered weather pattern

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— The spatter of rain that spritzed the valley late Monday afternoon and into the evening leads perfectly into the forecast for Wednesday. The word is “scattered.”

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction forecasts a 20 percent chance of scattered showers Wednesday with a high temperature of 86 degrees.

State Climatologist Nolan Doesken will shed some light on what’s happening with the weather Aug. 15 when he will be in Steamboat Springs to address a gathering of people who pay close attention to precipitation. The Colorado Water Congress holds its annual summer convention at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort from Aug. 14 to 17.

Doesken is expected to discuss the effectiveness of tools for tracking drought, including the U.S. Drought Monitor, during his speech in Steamboat next month. He’ll also explain the Surface Water Supply Index and what it says about Colorado’s current water supply. Similarly, he'll delve into the threat that wildfire poses for watersheds.

The members of the Colorado Water Congress constitute a diverse group that includes Front Range cities like Fort Morgan and Greeley, water conservation districts, Molson Coors Brewing, the Colorado Dairy Farmers and Colorado Ski Country USA.

During the 24 hours preceding Tuesday morning, there was measurable but unpredictable precipitation in the hills and mountains surrounding Steamboat. The northern end of the Park Range was among the winners, with 0.3 inches at the Zirkel remote automated weather station (RAWS) at an elevation of 9,340 feet. Closer to Steamboat, the Dry Lake RAWS station at the foot of Buffalo Pass measured just 0.02 inches.

Weather observer Art Judson collected 0.08 inches from his rain gauge between downtown and the ski mountain, but he noted that less than a mile away, in the Sanctuary subdivision, there was no measurable rainfall.

To the south, at Crosho Lake on the edge of the Flat Tops range south of Phippsburg, there was 0.2 inches of rain Monday.

There was a 50 percent chance of rain overnight Tuesday.

The Yampa River where it flows beneath the Fifth Street Bridge in Steamboat was carrying 87 cubic feet per second of water late Tuesday afternoon, thanks in part to conservation releases from Stagecoach Reservoir. The cutoff for recreational activities like tubing is 85 cfs.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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