Thank you for the interesting weather story on page 1 of last week's Plaindealer: "Summer precipitation said to be 'just average'” by Mary Menz. It was great to see recognition for State Climatologist Nolan Doeskin, who started CoCoRaHS in 1998. Before that, the official NWS stations, located in cities and towns around the country, reported precipitation. Nolan's innovative new network gathered rain and snow data from rural areas like Log Hill and other neighborhoods of Colorado that weren’t included in the NWS data.
I’d like to add a little more information about the mountain end of the county to that story. Daily precipitation reports to CoCoRaHS from my station (CO-OR-2) on lower Ninth Avenue, City of Ouray) began in 1998. My elevation is 7,736’ (Lat 38.02º / Long -107.67º). A year earlier, as a NWS weather spotter, I began making daily reports to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. In 2006, my weather station became the official one for Ouray.
The city has experienced a drier than average summer. Total precipitation was 4.93” compared to the historical average of 5.61” for three summer months. June, normally the driest month of the year, saw very little precipitation (0.17”); average is 1.15.” July was slightly wetter: 3.09” (average is 2.13”). August has been on the dry side (1.67” compared to an average of 2.33”).
We are fortunate to have two Ouray and Ridgway NWS and CoCoRaHS stations, as well as several other CoCoRaHS stations in rural parts of the county keeping track of our changeable mountain weather. The variations can be extreme and unexpected. The weather picture we have, though, is much larger and more interesting than it used to be, thanks to Nolan and CoCoRaHS. And, best of all, CoCoRaHS precipitation and snow information is available every morning on maps at cocorahs.org for all 50 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. Sincerely,