July rainfall does its best to make up for June drought

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— Thanks to a record 1.21 inches of rain July 14 and a good sprint to the finish line, Steamboat Springs finished the month 35 percent ahead of average precipitation with 2.05 inches in July.

The monsoon moisture pattern that developed in July produced 0.44 inches of rain in the last four days of the month, according to National Weather Service observer Art Judson. And July’s abundant precipitation reversed the drought pattern that had parched the Yampa Valley after only 0.01 inches fell in June.

Steamboat receives on average 1.52 inches of rain in July. The rainfall on July 14 was a record for the date.

National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Phillips said the monsoon pattern could return Thursday after a mostly sunny day Wednesday.

“We could see another real good push of moisture” Thursday, Phillips said. However, a high-pressure system lingering over Texas could make it difficult for the flow of subtropical moisture to reach Northwest Colorado later in the week.

Highs for the week are expected to be in the low 80s, and the Weather Service is calling for a 30 percent chance of precipitation Thursday and Friday. The weekend is expected to be mostly sunny.

Official weather observer David Baldinger Jr. recorded July 11 and 12 as the hottest days of the month, both reaching 89 degrees. A few miles away at Judson’s weather station, the high temperature reached 90 degrees on both days, but his warmest measurement was July 23 when the thermometer reached 91.

The coldest morning of the month came July 23, when Baldinger recorded a reading of 42 degrees.

Summer 2011 also was notable for extreme changes in precipitation patterns from month to month. After the second wettest July on record produced 3.68 inches that year, August responded with 0.68 inches compared to the average 1.63 inches. That made August 2011 the fifth driest on record.

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

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