Drought news: ‘Greeley has plenty of water to make it through this winter’ — Jon Monson


From The Greeley Tribune (Analisa Romano):

City officials asked residents to stop watering their lawns by Monday to save water for next year after drought conditions and wildfires shortened supply in the Poudre Canyon. Normally, officials recommend that residents stop watering by Oct. 14. [Jon Monson] said demand on Monday dropped 30 percent from the previous week — but he said there’s no way to tell how much of that was due to the bout of moisture Greeley saw last week…

He said Greeley has plenty of water to make it through this winter, but water resources could be spread thin if the city experiences another drought.

From The Greeley Tribune (Eric Brown):

The rains that fell on Weld County this week finally gave the green light to many local wheat growers needing to move forward with fall planting, and they brought piece of mind to farmers who had already put their seeds in the ground…

Winter wheat planting in northeastern Colorado is typically well under way by now, starting around the first of September and going into mid-October to grow a crop that’s harvested the following summer. But with fields parched and lacking subsoil moisture that’s critical at planting time, few farmers in Weld County have been moving forward.

Finally, for those needing to plant, 0.80 inches rain gradually dropped over the Greeley area from Monday night to Thursday night — the bulk of which came Wednesday evening, according to the National Weather Service…

A year ago, nearly half of the fields in Colorado had adequate subsoil moisture, and then a pair of storms brought 20-plus inches of snow to Greeley toward the end of October — not long after planting — that helped this past year’s crop get off to a good start. But very little precipitation has come to Weld County since those 2011 snowstorms, with Greeley so far this year experiencing its driest — and hottest — year on record.

From The Greeley Tribune (Eric Brown):

Last month, Greeley recorded 1.32 inches of rain — topping the city’s historic average of 1.12 inches by 19 percent, and standing as the 19th wettest September on record, according to figures provided by the Colorado Climate Center in Fort Collins. But despite last month’s rains, 2012 as a whole still remains the driest year on record for Greeley so far. Through the end of September, Greeley had received 6.12 inches of precipitation for the year ­­— not quite half of the city’s historic average. Prior to September, only two other months this year — February and July — had experienced close to average precipitation amounts, while every other month was well below its historic average.

From the Associated Press via the Fort Collins Coloradoan:

Jim Gammonley is an avian research program leader for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. He says the lack of moisture in Colorado this year may force many birds from the north to migrate elsewhere in search of better conditions.

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