January 27, 2011--Expert: Weather outlook not good for coming year (Windsor Now)

It might be another warm, dry summer, similar to conditions that have prevailed on the Eastern Plains since September of last year, and conditions that could imply the region is headed for another drought. Nolan Doesken, state climatologist at Colorado State University, drew his normal large crowd at the 2011 Colorado Farm Show on Wednesday afternoon. He said he based his prediction on the best information he could get from private-sector weather forecasters, leaning heavily on Klaus Wolter at the University of Colorado, who Doesken said “is a pretty thorough student of weather.” The problem, Doesken said, is La Niña, a cooling of water temperatures in the Pacific. Temperatures dropped late last year at one of the faster rates in recorded history. Any time La Niña prevails, eastern Colorado is susceptible to warmer and drier conditions. Those conditions have been around the region since September of last year; the major rainstorm/snow storm for the region was in August of last year, Doesken said. How long those conditions remain — and nobody has a definitive answer on that — will go a long way in determining whether the region is headed for another drought.

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