The Science and Grandeur of Glaciers

When you picture a glacier, you probably imagine the Arctic. In fact, about 10% of the world’s total land area contains glaciers, and we have glaciers right here in Colorado. These awe-inspiring masses of snow and ice are constantly moving and changing due to fluctuations in climate and temperature, and they can yield important data […]

Chain/Traction Laws and Winter Driving

Drivers should be aware that the Legislature recently updated Colorado’s chain laws. The new law states that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) may restrict travel by any vehicle, commercial or personal, if it does not carry the proper winter traction equipment. This can apply to any state highway as needed, but I-70 between Dotsero […]

Time Machine Tuesday: 1984 Floods and Landslides

In May and June of 1984, unseasonably warm temperatures caused that winter’s heavy snowfalls to melt at a rapid pace. As a result, fifteen counties on the Western Slope experienced significant flooding and landslides. Two people died. The damage was so extensive that Governor Lamm renewed his initial disaster declaration over and over again well […]

Colorado Hazard Mapping Tools

Flood season has arrived, and the State of Colorado has a number of online tools useful for mapping areas at risk of floods and landslides. Colorado Water Conservation Board The Colorado Hazard Mapping and Risk MAP Portal from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) provides a variety of tools for assessing hazard risk. In addition […]

CoCoRaHS: The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network

2018 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS. The network began on June 17, 1998 with just a handful of volunteer meteorological observers and has grown to over 20,000 volunteers across North America. Each time it rains, hails, or snows in their area, volunteers take measurements of […]

Citizen Science

Colorado State University’s Natural Resources Economy Lab (NREL), along with several other partners, has developed CitSci.org, a site where everyday citizens can go to contribute data and scientific research.  Using the site, researchers can create a project, collect data, and view the results.  For instance, one of the site’s projects is a the “Front Range […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Tracking Colorado's Climate

It’s been a mild and dry November and December — but is this unusual for Colorado?  How does this year compare to temperatures in Colorado over the last century? Ninety years ago, the Agricultural Experiment Station at Colorado Agricultural College (today’s Colorado State University) published The Climate of Colorado: A Forty-One Year Record, which you […]

September is National Preparedness Month

The recent hurricane events have demonstrated the importance of being prepared for disaster.  Even though we don’t get hurricanes in our state, there are a number of other disasters to prepare for — including both natural disasters (floods, fires, tornadoes, storms, avalanches, rockslides) and manmade disasters (terrorism, active shooters, power outages).  There are many personal […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Severe Storms

Yesterday the Colorado front range was hit hard with a storm producing heavy rains, hail, lightning, and high winds.  The months of May and June typically see the most severe thunderstorm activity on the Colorado plains…in fact, Colorado also experienced a severe storm exactly sixty years ago, May 8, 1957.  I found this factoid by […]

Caring for Storm-Damaged Trees

Spring snowstorms and freezes like those experienced in Denver metro area this weekend can cause significant tree damage, due to the cold in combination with the weight of the snow on trees that have already leafed out.  If you experienced tree damage this weekend, the Colorado State University Extension and Colorado State Forest Service have […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Avalanches

Avalanche danger is nothing new in Colorado.  Forty years ago, the University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research issued their publication Century of Struggle Against Snow:  A History of Avalanche Hazard in San Juan County, Colorado.  The publication, which can be viewed online via our library, examines avalanches and avalanche disasters in the […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Predicting Disaster

In 1998 the University of Colorado’s Natural Hazards Center issued a paper entitled What Hazards and Disasters Are Likely in the 21st Century — Or Sooner?  This paper predicted that disasters in the new millennium would go beyond the natural disasters of the previous centuries to include: 1.Events and conditions that exacerbate existing technological hazards; […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Average Annual Precipitation, 1951-1980

In 1984 the Colorado Climate Center, part of Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science, conducted a study of the average precipitation trends for Colorado for the years 1951 through 1980.  They found that statewide average precipitation for the period dropped from previous studies. Their report includes maps, graphs, and calculations on factors such as […]

Colorado Lightning Safety Awareness Week

Governor John Hickenlooper has declared June 22-28, 2014, as Colorado Lightning Safety Awareness Week.  Click on the image below to read the Governor’s official proclamation.  You can find several informative articles about lightning safety at Ready Colorado, the state’s official preparedness website.  Recently-posted articles include The Science of Thunderstorms and Lightning, Lightning Safety Outside, and […]

Colorado Climate Center – 2013 Flood Data

Colorado State University’s Colorado Climate Center has compiled a special website devoted to last September’s floods.  This website has extensive climatological data on the floods, including satellite imagery, a timeline, records and storm totals, accumulation graphs, streamflow runoff, and more.  The site also includes a section with numerous photographs from the affected areas.  They are also accepting your photo submissions.  The Colorado […]

Front Range Blizzards

This month marks the 100-year anniversary of Denver’s worst-recorded blizzard, the blizzard of December 1-5, 1913.  (Read the 1913 newspaper story and view photos here).  The blizzard dumped 45.7 inches in Denver, and piles of snow moved to Civic Center didn’t melt until the following July. Ten years ago, in March 2003, Denver’s second-worst blizzard (in terms of snow totals) hit the Front […]

Winter Weather Preparedness Week

This is Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Colorado.  Get ready for the coming winter storms by checking out some of the resources from state agencies, including: Avalanche Wise:  Your Guide to Avalanche Safety in Colorado Caring for Storm-Damaged Trees Cold Water Survival Energy Assistance [LEAP] Evaluation of Selected Deicers Based on a Review of the […]