This past November one of the driest on record for area
Grand Valley residents got a rare opportunity to work on their tan last month, but it came at the expense of their lawns and shrubs during what was an abnormally warm and dry November.
The National Weather Service recorded just 0.05 inch of precipitation last month at Grand Junction Regional Airport, tying this November for the ninth-driest on record in Grand Junction, according to hydrologist Bryon Lawrence.
Through November, the city received 6.69 inches of precipitation, more than an inch and a half less than the 8.47 inches Grand Junction normally receives through the first 11 months of the year. With only 28 days left in the year, Grand Junction has received just 74 percent of its average annual precipitation.
Meanwhile, the average high temperature last month was 55.1 degrees, nearly 4 degrees above normal, according to the Weather Service.
“We’re off to kind of a dry start to the winter,” Lawrence said.
The same can be said of the state. As of Wednesday, statewide snowpack levels were at 64 percent of the historic 30-year average, according to the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Lawrence said most of this fall’s storms have tracked to the north of western Colorado, and the storms that have passed through the area haven’t produced much moisture. November saw only one day — the 14th — that produced any measurable precipitation in Grand Junction.
A parched November added to a string of months that received below-normal precipitation in the valley. After a wetter-than-normal April, May and June, the city has received only 1.52 inches of rain since July — summer and fall months that usually bring about a relatively large amount of rain.
“We kind of missed out or didn’t get our typical monsoon,” Lawrence said.
It doesn’t appear Grand Junction will make up for its lackluster precipitation levels this year. National forecasts call for equal chances of above- or below-normal temperatures and precipitation in December, Lawrence said.