Valley in need of April showers

Grand Junction teens ride skateboards Sunday along the soccer fields at Canyon View Park. It was too beautiful a day “to stay cramped up indoors,” said Cami Watters, 16, center. Her sister, Chelsea, 13, joins her at left, along with friend Elaine Bramwell, 16. Weather forecasters say April is to be warmer and drier than normal. Today, there is a 30 percent chance of rain.

Balmy weather was a delight on Easter as young ones gathered eggs around the Grand Valley. While the last day of March produced short-sleeve weather, the temperatures were lower than last year’s record temperature on that day, 80 degrees.

Overall, precipitation in March is more than last year’s totals, but not by much.

“We’re doing a little bit better than last year, but we’re still less than normal,” said Grand Junction National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Cuoco.

Normal temperatures for this time of year should be in the low 60 degrees. Sunday’s high temperature was 71 at 3:25 p.m.

More rain fell in the Grand Valley this March compared to March 2012. March typically is the Grand Valley’s wettest month, but little more than one-third of an inch, or 0.35 inch, of rain fell last month. Normal rainfall is almost an inch, or 0.89 inch. In 2012, March saw 0.20 inch of rain.

Year-to-date precipitation for 2013 is 1.35 inches of rain. Last year, from January through March, the Grand Valley logged a paltry 1.2 inches of rain.

March is usually the wettest month, but April can produce good rains as well, Cuoco said.

“On average, we have just as good a chance for rain in March as April,” he said.

Comparing precipitation by months can be misleading if storms drop moisture at the tail-end of one month or the beginning of another.

April normally gets 0.91 inch of rain. Last April logged 0.29 inch of rain, but 2011 had 1.24 inches. Some storms are forecast for the Grand Valley for April, but it’s too soon to know whether they will produce rain.

The forecast for this month is warmer and drier than normal. There is a 30-percent chance of rain today and a 20-percent chance forecast for Tuesday.

“Right now we’re not predicting a great deal (of rain), but we are in the path,” Cuoco said.


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