A cold front that brought moisture to the region Monday night, even in the form of snow up high, has nudged June precipitation in Grand Junction above average for the month.
June is one of the driest months of the year locally, which may help explain why Mesa County remains in a severe drought despite more moisture than average over the last 30 days.
Still, around the county the National Weather Service got quite a few reports Tuesday of precipitation Monday night, said Dan Cuevas, a technician for the agency.
“Nothing exceptional, but right now we’ll take anything we can get,” he said.
One of the highest local precipitation readings was at a site near Collbran that recorded a third of an inch of rain.
Kelly Clingman lives in Molina, and wasn’t surprised to find snow on the ground when she got to work Tuesday morning at her job as manager of Mesa Lakes Lodge on Grand Mesa.
“After the rainstorm I got at my house I kind of thought I’d come up here to snow,” she said.
She estimates it was about 40 degrees at the lodge overnight, and said maybe a half-inch of snow fell, melting as things warmed up Tuesday morning. She said some visitors staying in rental cabins were taken aback to wake up to snow.
“I said, ‘yeah, it happens,’” said Clingman, remembering the 2 inches that fell at Mesa Lakes earlier in June.
Rainstorms on June 5 and 6 accounted for much of Grand Junction’s official precipitation total of 0.51 inches for June as of Tuesday. The city was running behind the June average of 0.46 inches until the 0.07 inches that fell Monday night.
Still, precipitation in Grand Junction so far this year has totaled 2.84 inches, compared to 4.29 inches on average through June 30. Insufficient rain and snow have resulted in all but roughly the northernmost third of Colorado currently being in various levels of drought.
Cuevas said the cold front that brought the rain and lower temperatures Monday night also was responsible for warmer and windy conditions for a couple of days as the front hung back before finally arriving.
On Tuesday Grand Junction wasn’t expected to hit even 80 degrees when a normal high this time of year is something like 92 degrees, Cuevas said.
“But we’ll be warming up over the next couple of days,” he said.
Grand Junction’s average temperature for June will end up being about a degree and a half above normal, Cuevas said.
He said it appears the region may see a few showers on Friday, mainly in the mountains.
“Sometimes they do creep over the valley and we can get a little rain out of them,” he said.
Unfortunately, the federal Climate Prediction Center’s 90-day outlook suggests Colorado may be both warmer and drier than on average this summer. As for what prospects there may be for seasonal monsoonal rains arriving anytime soon, Cuevas said the National Weather Service is on the lookout for the signature patterns of monsoon conditions developing.
“Last I heard we’re still waiting,” he said.