July rainfall varies across county
SUMMIT COUNTY – July precipitation totals varied widely across Summit County as hit-and-miss thunderstorms rumbled through the region, soaking some areas but leaving others relatively dry.July rainfall in Breckenridge totaled a hefty 3.59 inches, well above the historic average of 2.31 inches, said weather watcher Rick Bly, who tallies precipitation for the National Weather Service. Bly said July is the first month with above-normal precipitation since November 2003.
But across the county in Dillon, rainfall for the month totaled less than half that amount. Only 1.33 inches fell at the measuring gage near Dillon Reservoir, said Denver Water officials, who also track precipitation, along with temperatures, for the National Weather Service. Based on records dating to 1909, the average amount of precipitation for the month is 1.88 inches.The driest July on record in Breckenridge was in 1900, with only .33 inches of precipitation; the wettest in 1892, with 7.1 inches. Bly said the rainfall total in Breckenridge ranks July 2004 as one of the 10 wettest in the past 70 years. Bly said last month’s 3.59 inches was more than he measured all summer in the past couple of years.
“We didn’t get that much moisture in June, July and August combined, either in 2002 or 2003,” Bly said.For the hydrological year, which began Oct. 1, the July moisture brought the precipitation total up from 65 percent to 72 percent of normal, he said. The average precipitation for August is 2.25 inches. The wettest August on record in Breckenridge was in 1963, when strong monsoons soaked the area with 6.73 inches of water. The driest on record was 1985, with only .28 inches. July and August are the only two months of the year that don’t show any measurable snowfall at the Dillon gage, according to Denver Water’s records. But the temperature did dip down to or below the freezing mark five times during the month, with the coldest reading coming July 6, at 29 degrees.
The coldest day of the month was July 1, when the mercury only climbed to 51 degrees. Temperatures climbed into the 80s four days in a row, July 12-14, with the high for the month registering 84 degrees on July 13.The average high for the month was 72.6 degrees, just a shade below the long-term average of 74.2 degrees. The average low for the month was 36.6, also just a tad lower than the historic average of 37.1 degrees.Bob Berwyn can be reached at email@example.com.
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