Moisture provides reprieve amid #drought, while creating flood concerns in fire areas — The #GrandJunction Daily Sentinel

West Drought Monitor map July 13, 2021.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Dennis Webb):

Monsoonal moisture in the area this week is helping take the edge off the drought, however so slightly, but also is creating concerns about flash flooding in areas, including the Pine Gulch Fire burn scar north of Grand Junction.

The National Weather Service recorded 0.12 inches of rain Tuesday at the official recording station at the Grand Junction Regional Airport. Jeff Colton, a warning coordination meteorologist for the weather service, said other moisture readings for the day were spotty around the region, ranging from just a trace in Fruita and a tenth of an inch in Palisade to more than a half-inch in Orchard Mesa…

RIVER IMPACTS

Cody Moser, a hydrologist with the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center, said during a conference call with reservoir operators, local irrigation entities and others Wednesday that Tuesday’s precipitation in the region was heaviest in the Roaring Fork Valley…

Colton said the recent moisture is occurring after a strong high-pressure ridge that had brought hot temperatures to the region broke down, allowing monsoon moisture to come up from the south…

The pulses of monsoonal moisture are becoming a bit more frequent, which Colton said is providing hope for Colorado and some other area states in the grip of drought.

STILL BEHIND ON RAIN

Grand Junction had received just 0.14 inches of rain at the airport all month through Tuesday, and just 2.28 inches of precipitation all year, compared to 4.37 inches through the same date in a normal year.

Still, Colton said this summer is starting to feel like the old days, with an active monsoon season developing. The region saw little monsoonal moisture the last few years…

He said the moisture is slowing down fire activity in the state, but has been kind of hit or miss. Northwest Colorado didn’t get as much rainfall Tuesday, and the most critical burn conditions in the region remain there, he said. The Morgan Creek Fire outside Steamboat Springs had burned more than 3,800 acres as of Wednesday, but officials there said Wednesday that precipitation was helping to temper the blaze.

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