The month of July has received the most precipitation in 2022 so far

Despite heavier rainfall, 2022 still falls behind 20-year average

Monsoonal rains douse mountains east of Keystone on the afternoon of July 14. July has taken the top spot for the rainiest month this year, surpassing even March and April, which are typically the snowiest.
Eiliana Wright/Summit Daily News

Rain has delayed fire restrictions and brought hope for a snowier winter, and July topped out as the most precipitative month of 2022 so far for parts of Summit County and the region.

In Dillon, July has taken the top spot for the most precipitation this year, according to historical precipitation data from the National Weather Service. Last month, the town saw almost 2 inches of rain over 31 days, topping out at 1.89 inches. That’s more than any month in spring this year, which is typically the snowiest time of the year. March had 1.02 inches of precipitation, April had 1.39 inches and May had 1.66 inches.

Yet despite the almost-daily rain in Summit County, drought conditions are still apparent. This July’s total is a drop from July 2021, when it rained almost 4 inches in Dillon. This year’s total is still slightly below the 20-year average for the month: 2.11 inches. 

As for temperature, July accounted for the highest average temperatures for the year so far, as it has for the past two decades. The average temperature in July was 58.1 degrees, and the max temperature topped out at 83 degrees in Dillon.

In a long-term forecast, Kari Bowen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Boulder, said that Tuesday, Aug. 9, and Wednesday, Aug. 10, will be drier with warmer temperatures. Current forecasts show ​​0.3 to 0.4 inches of precipitation for the mountains and 0.6 to 0.7 inches on the plains by midweek.

“Model ensemble trends do show (precipitation) values increasing by the latter half of the week, which could be the result of the upper ridge (of high pressure) pushing eastward,” Bowen said. “This will introduce enough moisture to bring isolated to scattered storms to the mountains Thursday with more widespread convection possible by Friday and into the weekend. This is due to the progression of the upper ridge moving into Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle and monsoonal moisture increasing over the region once more.”

In other communities in the region, though, this year has been substantially rainier than years past. Georgetown in nearby Clear Creek County saw its second-highest rain total for July in the past 22 years. Over the 31 days in July, it rained 4.74 inches in Georgetown. This surpasses every other month by at least a couple of inches. The rainiest July in Georgetown was in 2012, when it rained 5.79 inches.

Typically, July is the rainiest month of the summer, thanks to monsoonal moisture, but late spring tends to be have the most precipitation overall. Since 2000, July has had the most rainfall in the summer for 12 years in Breckenridge. August took the top spot for seven years, June had two and September was the wettest in one year. 

Alan Smith, a meteorologist for OpenSnow, said that heading into mid-August, above-average temperatures are favored for most of the West. According to the Climate Prediction Center, Summit County is predicted to have temperatures “likely above” average temperatures. The center also expects the county to have above-average precipitation as well. 

“Early in the week, a ridge of high pressure will rebuild over the Rockies and become centered near the Utah-Colorado border,” Smith said. “Meanwhile, an area of low pressure will set up just off the West Coast of California, which will help to draw in another uptick in moisture back into the Sierra and Great Basin. Models are in poor agreement regarding the movement and timing of this low-pressure trough.”

In other parts of the states — mainly the Front Range — communities will have elevated risk for flash floods, but Summit County should be able to avoid a warning, according to updates from the weather service. 

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