Rain brings fog in midst of warm winter | PostIndependent.com

Rain brings fog in midst of warm winter

The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park had a spectacular view Thursday morning as fog began to lift over Glenwood Springs. The fog was a manifestation of unseasonably warm weather so far this year.
Will Grandbois / Post Independent |

After a rainy Wednesday, fog shrouded the valley floor early Thursday.

“When leftover moisture from yesterday’s rain cooled off, that pretty much made an instant cloud,” explained Dennis Phillips, meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “It’s something you’ll see sometimes when you get precipitation, especially when the temperatures are warm like this.”

Glenwood Springs saw an average high of 40.8 degrees and average low of 17.2 degrees in January, well above the normal high of 35.5 and normal low of 13.4 degrees. The same trend is repeated around the Western Slope.

“On an average, it’s been quite a bit warmer than normal, and we’re also lagging behind in precipitation,” Phillips said.

The snow season is far from over, with forecasts calling for a wetter February.

Snowpack in the high reaches of the Roaring Fork Valley is currently 90 percent of the 1981-2010 median, and the Colorado River is running 240 cubic feet per second higher than the mean for this time of year.

Sarah Johnson of the Roaring Fork Conservancy isn’t ready to panic yet.

“The snow in the valley floor is melting off because of the warm temperatures, but the snow in the high country is sticking around,” she said. “That’s the snow that’s critical for stream flow in the summer.”

Phillips emphasized that the snow season is far from over, with forecasts calling for a wetter February.

“There’s plenty of time to catch up,” he said.

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