CPC: Outlook through October 31 for Colorado — cool and wet

3-Month precipitation outlook through October 31, 2015 via the Climate Prediction Center
3-Month precipitation outlook through October 31, 2015 via the Climate Prediction Center
3-Month Temperature Outlook through October 31, 2015 via the Climate Prediction Center
3-Month Temperature Outlook through October 31, 2015 via the Climate Prediction Center

From the Cortez Journal (Jim Mimiaga) via The Durango Herald:

“It’s one of our better monsoons we have seen in awhile, and is producing deep moisture, often for three or four days in a row,” said meteorologist Chris Cuoco, of the National Weather Service…

“You can see the plume of moisture on satellite, drawing moisture from the eastern Pacific, then delivering thunderstorms along western Mexico and into the western U.S.,” Cuoco said.

Also, El Niño, – characterized by warming of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean – is in effect, which can also bring moisture to western Colorado.

Cuoco rates this El Niño as “strongly warmer,” with surface temperatures rising 3 degrees Celsius.

“It’s sizing up to compare with the strong El Niño in 1997 and 1998 that brought record moisture to the western U.S.,” he said.

El Niño doesn’t guarantee moisture for Southwest Colorado, but it can increase its chances.

“Because the El Niño is matching up with the monsoon, it signals higher than normal precipitation,” Cuoco said.

In 1998, a strong El Niño year, Cortez saw above-average precipitation, said Cortez weather observer Jim Andrus…

…2015 has been a good year for Durango, which officially measures precipitation and temperatures at the Durango-La Plata County Airport. May saw rainfall of 222 percent above average with 3.02 inches of rain, and June was 102 percent above average with 1.66 inches. July, as of Monday, had received 1.62 inches of rain, or 80 percent of the monthly average, with 12 days to go.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration also forecasts the Four Corners will be wetter than average from July through September. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Southwest Colorado went from severe to moderate drought in April to the current no-drought status, based on total precipitation for 2015.

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