Summer 2022 temperatures in Summit County have peaked at 83 degrees, on par with 20-year average

The sun sets over the Blue River arm of the Dillon Reservoir Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Temperatures in Dillon peaked at 83 degrees, which is the 20-year average for maximum temperatures.
Liz Copan/For the Summit Daily News

July is typically the warmest month in Summit County, and monsoonal rains have kept summer 2022 on par with the average high for the past two decades.

According to historical data from the National Weather Service in Boulder, temperatures in Dillon maxed out this year at 83 degrees. Comparatively, the warmest month in 2021 was June, which had a maximum of 85 degrees. 

The summer of 2005 still holds the top title for the hottest month Summit County has had since 2000, with July having a top temperature of 87 degrees. Of the past 21 years, six years peaked at 83 degrees — the most common peak of the last two decades. During five summers, temperatures peaked at 84 degrees, and following close behind with four summer peaks was 82 degrees.

July also doubles as the historically rainiest month for the summer in Summit County. This year, July even surpassed the early months of snow for the most inches of precipitation.

“Following the very active weekend across Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, drier air should begin to filter in as a high pressure builds over the Western U.S. and cuts off the steam of subtropical moisture,” Sam Collentine, a meteorologist for OpenSnow, said in a forecast. “Daily thunderstorm activity will still continue across the higher terrain, with a focus on Colorado and New Mexico. Much of the West Coast will remain high and dry.”

According to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, temperatures in Summit County for the next two weeks are expected to be “leaning below” average, as is much of the Front Range and Eastern Plains. As for precipitation, the county is expected to receive “likely above” average rain over the next 14 days.

Summer rains have kept county fire restrictions at bay for the longest time in recent history, and meteorologists currently can not predict when monsoonal moisture will end for the region. Earlier this year, fire experts for the state predicted that much of the Western Slope — including Summit — would experience the highest risk for wildfires in early June, but rain prevented any large fires from igniting. So far, Summit County has seen just two lightning fires this year. The two strikes burned just 0.2 acres in total, which accounts for all of Summit County’s wildfires — both human and naturally caused. 

“(Precipitable water) values will reach 0.5-0.6 inches Monday through Wednesday for parts of the mountains and valleys,” Chad Gimmestad, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder, said. “Typical afternoon thunderstorms are expected next week which will bring a limited flash flood threat for all burn areas. It is difficult to pinpoint exact locations where thunderstorms will develop Thursday and Friday, but (precipitable water levels) are much higher reaching 0.8-0.9 inches. These storms are more likely to develop in the mountains and valleys, then spreading across the urban corridor and plains.”

On Wednesday morning, Aug. 17, reports of snow flurries at and above 13,000 feet near Hoosier Pass came in, signaling the potential beginning of snowier weather. La Nina weather patterns are likely to continue into the winter according to the National Weather Service. La Nina was partially to blame for lower snowfalls through the month of December last year, and the pattern could return this year, although meteorologists say it’s too early to be certain.

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