Rafters, vegetation digging Glenwood’s weather | PostIndependent.com

Rafters, vegetation digging Glenwood’s weather

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Cooler spring temperatures are subsiding and summer may be ready to start heating up.

This spring has brought an abundance of rain and cooler temperatures, nourishing the valley’s vegetation and keeping the river flows high.

The month of May was the third wettest month in Glenwood Springs since 2003, when Oscar McCollum began keeping daily records of temperature and precipitation in Glenwood Springs.

McCollum, who records daily temperatures and precipitation for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, recorded 3.44 inches of rain for the Month of May in Glenwood.

“That is about an inch more than we usually get,” McCollum said.

McCollum said that October 2006, and September 2007 have been the only other months, since he’s been recording data, that have recorded over 3 inches of rain.

“Weather can vary in just a block or two in Glenwood when it comes to rain,” McCollum said.

April saw 1.65 inches of rain, but also had 4.5 inches of snow.

“That is pretty good for April, but it’s not unusual,” he said.

April and May together had about 5 inches of precipitation, and McCollum said the amount is evident in how green everything is.

“You can see it in your yard,” he said. “It’s good for the plants.”

With all the rainfall, the average temperatures were slightly lower than usual, according to McCollum. The average low was 35 for the month of May, but the average high of 76 in May was a little lower than usual.

“The high was a little lower than you would expect in May,” he said.

Conditions for the Upper Colorado River Basin, according to an online report by the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation stated that April and May conditions measured at 120 percent and 105 percent of average, respectively. The overall water year precipitation rate through June 9, is 101 percent of average, the report stated.

Ken Murphy, general manager for Rock Gardens Rafting said that the cooler temperatures have not hurt business because people have adjusted. But high river levels were probably to thank for keeping business healthy.

“People were in tune to the weather,” Murphy said. “People knew that we were getting afternoon rain showers and they were making plans accordingly.”

The rain showers have kept the Colorado River swollen around 8,400 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of June 24, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The Colorado River through the Glenwood Canyon peaked on May 21, at 9,900 cfs, which was still above average peak flow, according to the National Weather Service. The Roaring Fork River peaked on May 19, at 6,100 cfs, which is considered average peak flow for the river.

Murphy said that the rivers are currently at good levels, and he hopes the additional rain will prolong the rafting season.

“With all the rain it may prolong the season through September and into October,” Murphy said.

He added that his last rafting trip in 2008, with the high level of runoff, was on October 15.

“With all this water now, we hope it will extend our season,” he said.

jgardner@postindependent.com


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