Weekend sun offers a brief break from rain

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:23 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - One storm system has exited, but not after breaking a daily rainfall record at Grand Junction. Now we’re in a break. The break will last through the weekend, then next week will feature a parade of storm systems and repeated waves of rain and mountain snow.

Daily Rainfall Record Broken Wednesday

About that rainfall record... At the end of Wednesday, 0.39″ of rain was reported at the Grand Junction Airport. That breaks the daily rainfall record of 0.38″ set in 1970 - fifty-three years ago. Also worthy of mention is our snowfall for the season. October 27, 2022 was the date of our snow of the season. Since then, we’ve had 22.4 inches of total snow at Grand Junction. That’s more than half a foot above the normal of 15.9 inches. The average date of the last snow of the season around Grand Junction is April 1. The date of the latest last snow is May 22, 2015.

Drought Improves, More Rain Helps

This moisture helps immensely with the drought. We’ve been drought free on the Western Slope since early November. Since then, we’ve transitioned from abnormally dry conditions to above-normal precipitation and soil moisture. All of this is good for us. Additional precipitation can only help. More rain next week can deliver up to another 2-5 inches of rain just through Wednesday.

Weather This Weekend

We’ll enjoy a beautiful weekend before rain returns. Across the Western Slope, expect overall partly cloudy conditions. We’ll be mostly sunny at times. Afternoon highs will range from mid-40s to lower 50s across Western Colorado. Morning lows will be in the 20s. Weather looks good across the High Country, too. Snow will be favored in the southern mountains - primarily the San Juans - with partly to mostly cloudy skies elsewhere. High temperatures will range from high 20s to middle 30s.

Our Next 24 Hours

Clouds will gradually clear this evening. Sunset is at 7:22 PM. We’ll cool from mid-40s at 6 PM to near freezing around 10 PM. The rest of tonight will be mostly clear to partly cloudy. Low temperatures will be near 23 degrees around Grand Junction, 22 degrees around Montrose, 24 degrees around Montrose, and 20 degrees around Cortez. Friday will begin with lingering clouds in some areas. A stray spot of snow is possible where the clouds linger. The afternoon will become increasingly sunny. High temperatures will be near 45 degrees around Grand Junction, 41 degrees around Montrose, 45 degrees around Delta, and 43 degrees around Cortez.

Rain Returns

Our next weather maker is on track to arrive Monday night and bring more rain and mountain snow through early Tuesday. Another wave of rain and mountain snow will arrive later on Tuesday. Still more rain will arrive on Wednesday, and we’re already seeing signs that more rain could fall next Thursday. Next week will turn active with a powerful atmospheric river carrying copious amounts of moisture inland from the Pacific Ocean. Early signs point to parts of Colorado getting another 2-5 inches of rain or liquid equivalent of snow.