Drought news: Some improvement over Colorado #COdrought


Click on the thumbnail graphic for the current US Drought Monitor map. Click here to go the website.

From The Mountain Mail (James Redmond):

While Salida’s year-to-date precipitation remains below average, the monsoon season “looks promising” as the forecast calls for rain throughout the week, Steve Hodanish with the National Weather Service in Pueblo said Monday. To date Salida has received 6.76 inches of precipitation, 1.08 inches less than the January-August average of 7.84 inches.

The monsoon season “has been pretty good for everyone,” Hodanish said. Most areas have received some rain.

With the monsoonal rains, Salida’s July precipitation of 2.2 inches exceeded the month’s average by 0.4 inch. The monsoon season usually starts in Salida near the beginning of July.

Precipitation from the monsoon season has kept the Arkansas River closer to average levels, which helps agricultural, municipal and recreational users, Terry Scanga, Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District manager, said. As a whole, he said the season “has been very positive.”

The Fryingpan-Arkansas Project came in higher than anticipated this year, Scanga said. Anyone in the district who requested water from the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project this year got it, he said. That was possible mostly because of spring snows that happened this year, but the monsoonal rains helped to sustain the water.

The monsoon season, caused by a high-pressure pattern that moves moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into the area, usually runs to the start or middle of September, Hodanish said. Climate predictions show average precipitation through mid-September, “which is good,” he said.

In September the monsoon season will end as a Pacific cold front brings dry air down, pushing out the monsoon pattern, Hodanish said.

From The Washington Post (Darryl Fears):

It is all but certain that human activity has caused a steady increase in global temperatures over the past 60 years, leading to warmer oceans and an acceleration in sea-level rise, according to findings in the most recent climate change report by an international panel of scientists.

In a draft summary of the fifth climate assessment since its creation in 1988, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that continued greenhouse gas emissions “would cause further warming” and induce changes that could “occur in all regions of the globe . . . and include changes in land and ocean, in the water cycle, in the cryosphere, in sea level . . . and in ocean acidification.”

Six years ago, in its last report, the IPCC concluded that there was a 90 percent certainty that human activity was responsible for most of Earth’s warming. The 2013 draft summary increased that certainty to 95 percent.

“Human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global surface temperature from 1951-2010,” the report said. “There is high confidence that this has warmed the ocean, melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level, and changed some climate extremes, in the second half of the 20th century.”

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