Precipitation news

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From the Aspen Daily News (Catherine Lutz):

Total rainfall in June was 1.47 inches, not too much higher than the average precipitation of 1.29 inches, according to preliminary data from the city of Aspen water department. City water treatment plant supervisor Laura Taylor said she was surprised when she did the calculations that June didn’t come out wetter.

Still, June was “wetter than normal” across all of western Colorado, said Dan Cuevas, a technician with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. Aspen’s yearly average precipitation is actually just 20.39 inches, he said, with the wettest month, December, usually producing 2.36 inches of precipitation (in that case meaning melted snow). June is actually typically the driest month. The next driest month, October, usually produces 1.42 inches of precipitation, according to National Weather Service records dating from 1971. (NWS also measures averages from 1899, but the last 30 years presents a more relevant comparison.) According to water department records, there were 20 days in June with no precipitation. But very few days were clear, with 15 of the 30 days classified as partly or mostly cloudy in the afternoon…

May, in fact, was far wetter, with precipitation totals of 2.54 inches. That’s significantly higher than the average for the month of 1.83 inches. In fact, May 2009 was the 14th rainiest May in 59 years of records…

Denver came narrowly close last month to its moisture record for June — 4.96 inches in 1882. With just one day to go and little chance of rain, The Denver Post reported earlier this week that 4.86 inches of precipitation had fallen on the normally dry Front Range city.

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