Yesterday the Colorado front range was hit hard with a storm producing heavy rains, hail, lightning, and high winds. The months of May and June typically see the most severe thunderstorm activity on the Colorado plains…in fact, Colorado also experienced a severe storm exactly sixty years ago, May 8, 1957. I found this factoid by viewing the Colorado Extreme Storm Precipitation Data Study, published exactly twenty years ago, May 1997, by the Colorado Climate Center. A division of Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science, the Colorado Climate Center keeps volumes of data on Colorado weather, which can be accessed on their website. Many of their studies and reports, like the one referenced above, have been digitized and are available online.
One of the Extreme Storm report’s co-authors, Dr. Nolan Doesken, still heads the Climate Center and is Colorado’s official State Climatologist. In his forty years with CSU, Doesken has published dozens of reports, many of which you can find in our library, both online and in print.
The most notable aspect of yesterday’s storm was the extensive, damaging hail. In 1969, CSU’s Atmospheric Science Department published two technical studies on Colorado hailstorms, The Influence of Vertical Wind Shear on Hailstorm Development and Structure and Stability and Dynamic Processes in the Formation of High Plains Hailstorms. Both reports are available online from our library. Also available online is the report of another year’s severe spring weather: Numerical Simulation of the May 15 and April 26, 1991 Tornadic Thunderstorms. For more Colorado meteorology resources, search our library’s online catalog.
Image credit: Wikipedia commons