Above-average temperatures continue | PostIndependent.com

Above-average temperatures continue

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Every day Sam Harbottle hears the same story: They told me I wouldn’t need air-conditioning. “There’s still a lot of folks in this valley who say you won’t need (air-conditioning),” he said. “The first summer they’re crying.”The owner of Bishop Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning suggests getting installation or maintenance work done during the shoulder seasons for faster service. He also recommends at least getting duct work for air-conditioning installed during new home construction.His company isn’t the only one busier due to summer heat. Xcel Energy expected to reach a record peak power output Monday.

Xcel spokesperson Mark Stutz said the company, which provides electricity for about 70 percent of Colorado’s users, expected to reach a one-hour peak load of 6,900 megawatts Monday. One megawatt serves about 750 to 1,000 customers, he added.”We hit 5,990 megawatts (Sunday), which leaves us to believe that we’re probably going to get pretty close to the record (Monday), if not break it.”What generally happens is that businesses and commercial buildings kick on extra air conditioning to cool buildings after a hot weekend, Stutz said.Although it will be hot on July 4, energy companies’ output should drop because many businesses take the holiday off and many buildings go un-cooled.In the DeBeque-to-Silt corridor, highs of “around 100” degrees are expected until Wednesday, when highs drop to “95 or 100” through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) Web site. Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Eagle are forecasted to be slightly cooler, with highs in the 90s on July 4 and 85 to 95 through Sunday.

Larson said a lack of consistent records for Rifle or the Eagle County Airport, the NWS’s official stations in the area, makes it impossible to find actual record temperatures.A high-pressure ridge is still keeping much of the west and southwest hot and dry. Temperatures around Glenwood Springs and Rifle have been running about five to 10 degrees above average since mid-June. Higher than normal summer temperatures are expected to continue at least throughout the week.”It looks like it’s going to continue through the weekend,” NWS meteorologist Norv Larson said. “It will probably moderate toward the end of the week, but it’s still going to remain above normal temperatures.”What about moisture?”Really dry,” he said. “We’re not looking for any activity here for the next several days.”

Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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