Summit County: Weather year ends close to average |

Summit County: Weather year ends close to average

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Summit County, Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY – The weather year ended without much drama, as September brought near average precipitation and temperatures to the National Weather Service sites in Breckenridge and Dillon.

Colorado water managers begin their hydrological observations each year on Oct. 1 for the purpose of tracking snowpack, so Breckenridge weather-watcher Rick Bly tallied up his annual totals and reported 20.18 inches of precipitation for the 12-month period, about 98 percent of the long-term historic average (20.67 inches).

In September, Bly measured 1.4 inches of snow at his backyard gauge. Along with the rain that fell, total precipitation for the month added up to 1.56 inches, slightly more than the average 1.47 inches.

Bly said October is historically the driest month of the year, averaging only 1.27 inches of precipitation. But some years bring big early dumps, and some weather experts are predicting that Pacific Ocean weather patterns could bring early snows to Colorado.

This month in 1969, Breckenridge saw 64.5 inches of snow, making it the snowiest October on record. Average snowfall for the month is 12.3 inches in Breckenridge.

Denver Water officials also track precipitation and temperatures near the Dillon Dam. For September, 1.03 inches of precipitation, about 30 percent below the historic average. That total included only a trace of snow.

Temperatures at the Dillon site spanned a big range, from a high of 75 degrees, reached on Sept. 10, all the way down to a low of 21 degrees Sept. 24. Lows dropped below freezing only seven times, and the average daily minimum temperature was 30.2 degrees, a bit cooler than the historic average of 28.7 degrees.

The average daily high temperature for the month was 65.4 degrees, also about one degree below the historic average of 66.3 degrees.

On average, the Dillon site sees about 7.7 inches of snow in October.

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