National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

May 2018 Climate Summary for Eastern Utah and Western Colorado

*Please note that all data mentioned is collected from our automated observing stations from 10 different airports across eastern Utah and western Colorado. Some of our cooperative observers in more remote areas may have measured warmer or colder temperatures, or more or less precipitation than what was mentioned in this summary.*

 

 

May 2018 was a wild spring month with some late season snowfall, strong winds, record heat, and wildfires. A cold Spring storm moved across the Four Corners region on May 2-3 and brought light to moderate snowfall accumulations to the mountains. The heaviest snow fell at elevations above 9000 feet with the central Colorado mountains averaging 2 to 6 inches while the southwest San Juan Mountains received 5 to 10 inches with locally higher amounts up to 13 inches.

 

Much of the rest of the month saw a persistent ridge of high pressure remain overhead which kept conditions dry and warm for eastern Utah and western Colorado. A couple of closed low pressure systems moved into the Great Basin and stalled out for several days. Unfortunately, the bulk of moisture associated with these systems remained over western Utah and eastern Colorado. The arrival of these systems did see an increase in southwesterly winds with several Red Flag Warnings being issued for gusts exceeding 25 mph. Some of the strongest winds occurred on May 26th when some high-based showers in the Grand Valley produced gusts exceeding 50 mph. This led to localized damage on the eastern side of Grand Junction with numerous tree branches downed as well as damage to fences and roofs.

 

Precipitation was below normal across the region with the majority of automated stations across eastern Utah and western Colorado ending the month half an inch to an inch below normal. One exception was at the Canyonlands Airport in Moab, Utah which received 0.91 inches of rain during the month of May which was 0.33 inches above normal. The greatest deficit occurred at the Rifle Airport which only received 0.26 inches of rain, 1.25 inches below normal. Temperatures were above normal for May with mean temperatures generally ranging from 3 to 6 degrees above normal for the month. The highest reported temperature during the month from these stations was 94 degrees which occurred at the Grand Junction Airport on May 26th. The coldest temperature of 29 degrees was measured at the Aspen Airport on May 1st.
 

Grand Junction had an average monthly temperature of 65.3 degrees which was 3.7 degrees above normal. The highest temperature was 94 degrees on May 26th and the lowest was 40 on the 4th. 0.19 inches of precipitation fell which was 0.69 inches below normal for the month. No snowfall fell which was 0.1 inches below normal. Numerous record high temperatures were set or tied throughout the month on May 10, 25, and 26.

 

Taking a quick look ahead to June, the official forecast from the Climate Prediction Center (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/30day/) shows odds favoring warmer than normal temperatures continuing across eastern Utah and western Colorado with drier than normal conditions in northeast Utah and northwest Colorado.

 

The preliminary climate summary for some of our automated stations can be found on the attached slide show. For more climate information from other sites, please visit our climate page on our website at http://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=gjt (select the NOWDATA tab for even more sites). You can also follow us on Facebook (@NWSGrandJunction) or Twitter (@NWSGJT).