Monday, October 16, 2006

Knock wood on water

The Rocky Mountain News has the clumsy headline (the D-blog knows clumsy headlines): "Drought over, at least from Denver's vantage."
Denver Water's reservoirs are fuller now than they've been in any October since 1999 . . . .

Denver Water reservoirs are at 90 percent capacity, three percentage points higher than the long-term average for this time of year, 87 percent . . . .

In October 2002, during the depths of the multiyear drought, water levels in Denver Water reservoirs dropped to 51 percent of capacity.

The Oct. 1 levels rebounded to 79 percent in 2003, 76 percent in 2004 and 88 percent last year.
Oddly, Denver itself is still flirting with the record for least rainfall in a year:
In Denver, recent rains make it appear less likely - though still possible - that 2006 will be the driest year in the city's history.

The current holder of that title is 2002, when just 7.48 inches were recorded at Denver International Airport.

That's less than half the normal year-end total of 15.81 inches.

As of Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service had recorded 6.24 inches of precipitation at the airport this year - 7.33 inches below normal.
Unfortunately the News fails to mention that Denver International Airport isn't in Denver, it's in freakin' Kansas. Denver's received a lot more rain than that, just judging from my little home rain gauge.

It's even worse with temperatures, by the way. DIA is often five or seven or ten degrees warmer or cooler than Denver far to the west, but it's still where the city gets its official temps.

Update: Coincidentally, Oz-blogger Caz describes the extremely severe drought in Melbourne and surroundings in comments to this post. Sounds a lot like Denver, only worse. Maybe they get their official rainfall from DIA too!

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