It’s been rainiest September in 86 years

With one day to go, this is already the third-wettest September on record in Grand Junction.

As of Sunday afternoon, 3.09 inches of rain had fallen in Grand Junction since the beginning of the month. The only wetter September months in Grand Junction since the National Weather Service began tracking rainfall in 1893 were in 1896, when 3.78 inches of rain fell on the city in the 30-day month, and September 1927, when Grand Junction had 3.29 inches of rain.

No rain is predicted for today, although showers may return this Thursday and/or Friday, according to Travis Booth, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

Grand Junction typically gets 1.19 inches of rain in September and an average of 6.96 inches of rain between Jan. 1 and Sept. 29. This year, the city’s rainfall is above average, with 9.06 inches falling year-to-date as of Sunday.

This year’s moisture is a far cry from last year, when drought conditions accompanied just 3.02 inches of rain in the first nine months of 2012.

Grand Junction and the rest of west-central Colorado was classified as being in a severe to extreme drought earlier this year and as late as July, according to the United States Drought Monitor. But the city’s third-wettest summer on record (behind 1929 and 1997) brought 5.64 inches of rain between July 1 and Sept. 29 this year and helped bump the area into a less-parched category.

“Summer rainfall has made that (drought) less extreme, but it’s still abnormally dry to moderate drought,” Booth said.

Although it’s too early to make firm predictions about whether the moisture will stick around, the Climate Prediction Center projects the chances of winter snowfall on the Western Slope surpassing or falling behind typical amounts are about even. An increased probability exists for above-normal temperatures, Booth said.


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