May rainfall record broken

Matt Stensland

— The official record for rainfall in May has been broken in Steamboat Springs.

According to Matthew Aleksa, at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, 6.37 inches of rain have been recorded at the official measuring station in Steamboat. That makes this the wettest May on record.

Earlier on Thursday, it was believed the record had not been broken, but an error was discovered in National Weather Service data. Four days of rainfall had not been added to the total.

The current record was set in 1995, when 5.67 inches of moisture was measured. The second wettest May was in 1981, when 5.41 inches was measured.

A network of local volunteer weather observers also reported that the record has been smashed. The volunteers are part of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Observers in Steamboat have measured 6.58, 6.59 and 7.1 inches of rain.

More rain may be on the way.

On Friday, the forecast calls for chances of rain in areas along the Continental Divide, including Steamboat.

“They have the best chances for any storms,” Aleksa said.

The weekend looks to be warmer and drier.

“Our long-delayed summer weather begins on Saturday, but not before the wave currently affecting our area leaves more rain … Friday,” wrote Mike Weissbluth, who runs “Rainfall should end by early Saturday as the wave moves east of our area.”

Weissbluth said upper elevations will see the first above-freezing low temperatures in three weeks, which will lead to snowmelt and higher river flows.

“The warming temperatures will certainly make the weather feel summer-like and yield typical summer afternoon thunderstorms Sunday through Tuesday,” Weissbluth said.

Longer term, the weather will be “seasonably wet” through at last mid-June, Weissbluth said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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