CWCB: Next Water Availability Task Force Meeting November 20 #CODrought


From email from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (Ben Wade):

The next Water Availability Task Force meeting is on Tuesday, November 20 from 9:30a-11:30a.m. & will be held at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Headquarters, 6060 Broadway, Denver in the Bighorn Room.

The agenda…will be posted at the CWCB website.

In the event you are unable to attend the meeting in person, but still wish to participate, please email Ben Wade by November 16 to get call in and web conference information. This will allow you to hear as well as see the presentations live.

NWS: A Cool October Across Eastern Colorado #CODrought

From the National Weather Service (Pueblo):

One storm system moving across the state at the beginning of October, along with another system moving across the area at the end of the month, brought some generally light precipitation (and the first measurable snowfall) to portions of south central and southeast Colorado. In addition, cold air associated with these systems helped temperatures to be generally cooler than normal across southeast Colorado in October, with at or above normal temperatures persisting across south central Colorado…

In Colorado Springs, the average monthly temperature in October was 49.3F. This is 0.1 degrees below average and marks only the second time this year in which the average monthly temperature was near or below normal (the other being February). Colorado Springs received 0.14 inches of precipitation through the month of October. This is 0.68 inches below average and makes October of 2012 the 20th driest on record; though well behind the trace of precipitation recorded in October of 1934. Colorado Springs also received its first measurable snowfall of the season in October, with 0.6 inches of snow recorded at the Colorado Springs Airport on the 25th.

In Pueblo, the average monthly temperature in October was 50.7F. This is 1.1 degrees below average and marks only the second time this year in which the average monthly temperature was near or below normal (the other being February). Pueblo received 0.29 inches of precipitation through the month of October, which is 0.43 inches below average. Pueblo also received its first measurable snowfall of the season in October, with 0.8 inches of snow recorded at the Pueblo Airport on the 25th and another 0.8 inches recorded through the early morning hours of the 26th.

In Alamosa, the average monthly temperature in October was 43.5F, which is 0.4 degrees above average. Alamosa received 0.37 inches of precipitation, which is 0.31 inches below average. Alamosa received only a trace of snow on the 26th of October.

Forecast news: Warm and dry this week, snow for Colorado on the weekend? #CODrought

From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

…it’s too early to tell exactly where the snow will fall. For now, the forecast models are predicting that a vigorous cold front will cross Colorado Friday night into Saturday, bringing the best chance for snow. Until then, seasonable to warmer-than-average temperatures will prevail across the high country, with Tuesday and Wednesday likely to be the warmest days, with highs in the mid-50s, potentially flirting with record territory mid-week…

The pattern change will begin Wednesday as a Gulf of Alaska low pressure starts to move into the Great Basin. Ahead of the system, the flow will be from the Southwest, bringing the warm temperatures mid-week…

If the trough splits, as sometimes happens during El Niños, it’s possible that the bulk of the energy could pass to the north and south of the I-70 corridor.

From The Denver Post (Joey Bunch):

After Denver moves into striking range for record high temperatures at midweek, temperatures are expected to plummet to near freezing with a slight chance of snow next weekend, forecasters said Sunday…

Western Colorado’s weather will ride the same arc as Denver’s with warm, sunny days this week giving way to chilly temperatures and snow as a cold front approaches from the northwest…

The system could bring much-needed snow to the high country, as the state’s snowpack continues to lag behind for a second year in a row. Statewide snowpack Friday was just 55 percent of its 30-year average for this time of year, and jut 59 percent in the ski resort-heavy Colorado River basin.

Denver, however, received 5.5 inches of snow during October, which was 1.5 inches above the average of 4 inches. After March, November is Denver’s second-snowiest month, averaging 8.7 inches annually since 1981, according to the National Weather Service.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Duffy Hayes):

If three months constitutes a cycle, in terms of the weather, then the data collected by area weather-watchers for October show the region wrapped up a dry and warm one over the past few months. The .29 inch of precipitation measured near Grand Junction Regional Airport in the month of October was well below the average of 1.06 inches for the month — a continuation from the previous two.

“The last three months, we’ve been about three-fourths of an inch below normal (in terms of monthly precipitation),” said Dan Cuevas, technician with the local office of the National Weather Service. Cuevas said that September’s precipitation count of .46 inch was a full .72 inch below that month’s average. Further, August was similarly dry, clocking in with just .16 inch of moisture — which was .79 inch short of average.

October’s average daily temperature was actually a bit lower than average — 52.8 degrees, versus the average 53 degrees — but the region is back to some warmer temperatures. “We’ve started off (November) with a warm, dry pattern,” Cuevas said. “We’re going to stay under the influence of high pressure through most of the week.” That includes Tuesday — Election Day — when many people will be headed to local polling places. The forecast looks beautiful, with mostly sunny skies and high temperatures expected in the mid- to upper-60s.

Cuevas said the trend might be short-lived, though. “We’re watching what looks like it could be a pretty good storm system coming in by the weekend — giving us some rain, possibly some snow at lower elevations, but certainly cooling things off,” he said.

From The Greeley Tribune:

An uneventful weather pattern is shaping up across northern Colorado for the next several days. Expect dry conditions and mild temperatures. This afternoon’s high will reach the low to mid 60s in the Greeley area. Sunshine will mix with passing clouds. Fair skies are in store for tonight as lows fall to the upper 30s.

Election Day weather will also be tranquil, causing no weather­related concerns in getting to the polls.

It will remain dry through Friday, when computer models are hinting at the next opportunity for some unsettled weather. This would be the next chance for some decent mountain snow to return to the forecast.

Aspen: Environmental community divided over propose Castle Creek hydroelectric generation plant


From The Aspen Times via The Denver Post:

Big names in the environmental movement are lined up on both sides of the issue. Connie Harvey, Charlie Hopton and Ken Neubecker are opposed to the proposed plant. Harvey was a founder of Wilderness Workshop. Hopton has been a member of environmental causes and organizations in Aspen for several decades. Neubecker has emerged as a leading voice in the Roaring Fork Valley on water issues.

Those lined up in support of the plant include Auden Schendler, Randy Udall and Paul Andersen. Schendler is executive director of sustainability for Aspen Skiing Co. Udall was the original director of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency and has emerged as a national expert on energy issues. Andersen is a respected environmental essayist and a columnist for The Aspen Times.

Voters in the city of Aspen will cast ballots Tuesday on Question 2C, an advisory question on the Castle Creek Hydroelectric Facility.

Hopton said he has rarely seen the upper Roaring Fork Valley’s environmental community torn apart over an issue like it is over the hydroelectric plant. He has friends on both sides of the issue and avoids discussing it with those backing the proposal. He hasn’t taken an active role in the campaign.

More hydroelectric coverage here and here.

CDPHE: Hearings for the proposed Piñon Ridge uranium mill on Wednesday


From The Telluride Daily Planet (Collin McRann):

The hearings are set to begin Wednesday morning and could run through Nov. 13. They will be held each day at the Moose Lodge in Nucla from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with public comment set to start at 4 p.m. The hearings are the result of a lawsuit filed against the state agency that issued the licence, and represent another chapter in the divisive issue of uranium development in the region…

Parties will be presenting verbal arguments for and against the mill’s license to Richard Dana, who is the appointed hearing officer on the issue. Dana has been chosen by the state to act as an independent party between the different interests involved with the Piñon Ridge uranium mill project. The hearing format will consist of arguments and cross-examination from lawyers representing different parties of interest, statements from industry specialists and other experts as well as a section for members of the public to make their points…

Following the hearings, Dana will submit his recommendations and findings on whether or not the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment should issue the license. But the CDPHE will make the final decision on the license next spring with a final statement due by April 27.

More Piñon Ridge uranium mill coverage here. More nuclear coverage here and here.