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Hottest-ever June points to ongoing trend

Julie Sutor
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Julie Sutor
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SUMMIT COUNTY – It’s no surprise to local ice cream shop owners Seth and Kelsey Lyons that June temperatures broke records across the country this year.

“We had lines out the door for ice cream, and they didn’t want anything else,” said Kelsey Lyons, who runs a Blue Bell Ice Cream and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store in the Outlets at Silverthorne with her husband. “We could hire one person to stand there all day and scoop.”

The store’s business was swift in June, so much so that the couple even ran out of ice cream on a few occasions.

Such scenes were likely far from uncommon elsewhere in the U.S., and throughout the globe, as average June temperatures soared to their highest levels on record. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), June was the fourth month in a row that was the warmest on record for average global land and ocean temperatures. It was the 304th consecutive month for which temperatures were above the 20th century average.

June in Colorado this year was 2.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th century average for the state. It was Colorado’s 18th warmest June in 116 years. For some regions of the state, where temperatures were 4-6 degrees above average, June 2010 landed in the top 10. Colorado Springs had its fifth-warmest June on record, with an average temperature of 69.6 degrees.

Scant rain fell in southern Colorado during June, creating abnormally dry conditions in the region. The northern part of the state, which was already abnormally dry as June began, remained so throughout the month. Rick Bly, who monitors weather in Breckenridge, said Summit County received about 5 percent more precipitation than average in June.

On Friday, NOAA released predictions that August-October drought conditions would continue or worsen in New Mexico and Arizona, but severe drought would not likely occur in Colorado.

Year-to-date (January-June), 2010 is so far the warmest on record for global average temperatures. And only six months into the year, 2010 has already surpassed 1998 as having the most “warmest months” in any calendar year, according to NOAA.

Mary Hellenbrand and Sue-z Schwab, who were both vacationing in Summit County this week, said they definitely felt the heat back home in Wisconsin.

“All the flowers and vegetation are two weeks early this year,” Hellenbrand said.

Schwab said she waits for the temperature to rise above 80 degrees at least three days before filling her above-ground pool. This year, she opened the pool before Memorial Day, “which has never happened.”

SDN reporter Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or jsutor@summitdaily.com.


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