Monsoons in SW Colorado

Colorado Cowboy

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Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
The last week or so has been eye opening for me. The last couple of years here in the SW part of Colorado our normal summer monsoons have been a bust. Without them our drought has gotten worse.

The last week or so has offered some hope that the trend might be different this year. The normal afternoon thunder, lightning and rain has started....at least a month early. Last week we got 1/4" of rain one afternoon. Tuesday and yesterday afternoon, it clouded up, thunder, lightning and rain. Sure hope it continues as it has been a really bad winter moisture wise.
 

JimP

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Gypsum, Co
I was fishing down on the Eagle River the other day and it is up a couple of feet from what it had been running.

The last time that I was through Glenwood Canyon it looked like the Colorado was down 10 feet in areas compared to other years. I base this on the bike path through the canyon. Usually this time of year the bike path in that area is submerged.

Looking up at the hills around me yesterday they may of gotten some rain but very little.
 

BKC

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Feb 15, 2012
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The high plains of Colorado
The high plains east of Castle Rock are getting a good rain about every other day. My hay field has never been greener and thicker. I know most parts of Colorado have some level of drought going on but there is not much of a watershed here and most moisture just goes into the ground and fills some ponds. This area is definetly looking good.
 

ColoradoV

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Oct 4, 2011
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I have not been in that valley but both north and south as well as west of there have seen good rain so I would think so. Not a ton of snowpack left so creeks will start to drop soon..
 

Colorado Cowboy

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Dolores, Colorado
The real problem here in the SW part of the state is storage. The drought has sucked the storage systems down so low that some are already turned off for the year. One near me (Summit Irrigation) got less than a months water, not even enough to get one cutting of hay. The system I have shares in is forecasting running out of water by the end of August (we normally get water into October). It will take a great summer monsoon season to put a dent in the storage shortages for this year. It will take a couple of good years (normal rain/snow or more) to get our water storage back to normal.

The whole Colorado River system is in trouble. Lakes Mead and Powell are at record lows. Will take a few years to get them back. But they are doing their job, providing stored water during dry years.
 
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Colorado Cowboy

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Dolores, Colorado
Looks like the monsoon season has officially started. We have had rain almost everyday for the last week and the forecast is the same for the next 7 days.....afternoon thunderstorms. I was at the range yesterday testing some new loads and talked to a friend there who had been in the San Juans a couple of days ago. He went up Roaring Fork (in unit 74) up to Bolum Pass and Tin Can Basin, down Barlow Creek and over to Dunton (Unit 71) and back to Dolores. He said everything is lush and green with all the streams running full. Saw a few elk and deer too. Hope the moisture continues. (my irrigation company has even stretched our season by several weeks and might do it some more!)
 

JimP

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We have been getting some good rain also. The problem is that when there is a flash flood alert they shut Glenwood Canyon down, but when you see the amount of mud that comes down and covers the freeway you can understand it. Right now on Wednesday morning it is still shut down with a clean up in process from last night. It wouldn't be so bad but most of my business is in Glenwood. So I try and schedule my trips in the mornings so that I can get down there and get out before the rains hit in the afternoons. I was just down there yesterday and didn't like the looks of the clouds that were building but made it home.

You would think that after a few good mud slides that there wouldn't be any left to come down after a while.
 

JimP

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The burn area is what is causing the mud slides. It is too bad that there isn't a camera in the area that the slides that are coming down. But here is one from last night, it isn't much of a slide but once it hits the freeway it fans out. some of the first ones would cover the west bound side and overflow onto the east bound ones. Then there are the ones that go under the west bound and cover the east bound lanes.

 

JimP

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Gypsum, Co
Here are a few more pictures of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon from Tuesday night.

East bound is on the right side



I think that this is the Grizzly Creek rest area exit the road is west bound


Another one of east bound, there is a bike path between the road and river.


Here is a overhead view of east bound, I have no idea of just where it at.


Here is the detour that is in effect, I-70 is at the bottom of the picture. I do have a dirt road to the south of me where it would only take a hour to get to Glenwood Springs, however I wouldn't want to travel it if it is wet.



For me it is a 250 mile detour to get to a town 25 miles away.
 
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