September yields surplus |

September yields surplus

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk A leaf in its autumn prime fell to the weather and lay in contrast to the icy snow covering the ground.

SUMMIT COUNTY – There’s good news and bad news for Summit County weather watchers.The good news: September precipitation was above average at both of Summit County’s official National Weather Service sites, raising hopes that Colorado might be moving out of a multi-year drought.

The bad news: For the hydrological year, which ended Sept. 30, precipitation ended up at 82 percent of normal, according to Rick Bly, who measures snow and rainfall every day in his Breckenridge backyard. Bly said he tallied 1.9 inches during the month, half an inch more than the long-term average of 1.41 inches. For the year, three months ended up with above-normal moisture – November, July and September.

October is typically the driest month of the year, averaging about 1.27 inches of water at Bly’s gage and 1.07 at Denver Water’s site near Dillon Reservoir. But it can be a snow month. On average, Bly said Breckenridge gets about 12 inches of October snow, with 7.7 inches in Dillon. The snowiest October on record came in 1969, with 64.5 inches.

According to Bly, some statistics correlate the amount of snow the area gets in October and how the rest of the winter goes – especially if snowfall is below normal for the month. If October is dry, there’s about a 75 percent chance the rest of the snowfall season will follow suit, he said. Denver Water’s weather watchers measured 1.97 inches of precipitation in September, including six inches of snow. A big portion of that moisture came during a three-day spell from Sept. 21-23, when nearly an inch of water accumulated. Long-term average precipitation for the month is 1.34 inches, with 1.7 inches of snow. Records for the Dillon site go back to 1909.The average high for September was 63.5 degrees, exactly 1 degree below the long-term monthly average, while the average low registered at 29.4 degrees, slightly higher than the average 28.7 degrees.

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