Wet, cool weather to be intermittent

A sudden downpour late Sunday afternoon sends a group of young people scrambling for cover along the 600 block of Main Street in Grand Junction. The city received 0.29 inch of rain.

Enjoy the rain while it lasts.

Grand Junction received 0.04 inch of rain earlier in the day Sunday before accumulating another quarter of an inch starting about 5 p.m.

More precipitation may be on the way today, according to Dennis Phillips, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

But as drought conditions persist, Phillips said the Grand Valley can expect to see the return of sunny days and hotter temperatures as soon as the moisture from recent rains disappears.

“This rainfall is a little bit beneficial but once this rain dries up, we’ll probably be at normal or slightly above normal temperatures,” Phillips said.

Phillips said temperatures and dry conditions may return as soon as Tuesday in the Grand Valley and that monsoonal weather is likely to rotate in and out every few days with drier, hotter weather for the remainder of July.

The National Weather Service recorded 0.78 inch of rain here in the first half of July, already triple the 0.25 inch Grand Junction receives on average each July. Phillips said that tally may be misleading because 0.48 inch of rain fell on one day alone, July 7, while another 0.29 fell Sunday and not everyone’s rain gauge may have picked up the same tally around the city on those two days.

The 0.48 inch of rain that fell the afternoon of July 7 broke a 79-year-old record for most rainfall in one day on a July 7th in Grand Junction. The previous record was 0.27 of an inch of rain.

Sunday was not a record-breaker for rainfall in Grand Junction.

The city may be ahead of schedule for July rain, but it’s still far behind in year-to-date rainfall.

Grand Junction normally receives 4.54 inches of rain by July 15 in a typical year. So far this year, just 2.19 inches of rain have fallen on the city.

“We’re quite a bit behind still,” Phillips said. “We are still in drought conditions.”

The National Weather Service includes Mesa, Garfield and Delta counties in the “extreme drought” category, according to a release on the service’s website.

Extreme droughts can result in increased risk of wildfires, agricultural losses and water shortages.


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