El Nino Conditions Could Mean Stronger Monsoon Season

By: James Hopkins Email
By: James Hopkins Email

The wetter than average spring and early summer has some in the Grand Valley soaking up the rewards. But will this early season moisture have an affect on the upcoming monsoon season?

The western slope started off the summer season with a bang, and for small business owners like roofer Mike Kruger business couldn't be better. "We started off rough because of the economy but we're good now," says Kruger. Mike has been in Grand Junction for 26 years and says the weather is keeping him busy. "Bad weather puts us behind on scheduled jobs but it does bring in more business," says Kruger.

While his business is flourishing others are happy to be able to relax just a little. "It's been a slow year for fires especially for wild fires," says Mike Page of the Grand Junction Fire Department. It's been a drastic drop from just last year."Last year we had 53 red flag warnings which is typical, this year we've had 9," says Jim Pringle of the National Weather Service.

The culprit for all this unexpected rain? Experts think they may have nailed down the answer. "It is possible that El Niño has had an influence on the above normal precipitation that we've had so far this year," says Pringle.

El Niño is a shift in the southern pacific sea surface temperatures which affects the flow of the jet stream. It's that jet stream that brings us the monsoon moisture and even the slightest shift can mean big changes. "Odds are favoring above normal precipitation for this monsoon season," says Pringle. Which is good news for both the grand junction fire department and for mike Kruger, "we are prepared for anything, we have lots of people that can go out and do emergency repairs," say Kruger.

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