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Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedSun, 04-Dec-2016 11:20am MST 
 

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July 2016 weather recap: Thornton sees near normal temps, below average precipitation

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 10:54am MST

While the month of July seemed hot and dry, statistics show that only one of those two conditions held true.  We definitely saw a big time lack of precipitation but temperatures averaged out to near normal.

High pressure was the dominate feature for the month leading to overall dry conditions.  We started out cooler than normal and somewhat wet for the first two days of the month. That however changed quickly.

From the 3rd through the 17th of the month, Thornton saw temperatures largely remain above normal.  Only two days during that period saw precipitation and both were minimal amounts.  We saw our hottest temperature of the year to date and our only 100-degree temperature reading of the year on the 10th when the mercury topped out at 100.4 Degrees.

On the 14th and 15th of the month, we had a brief respite from the heat as temperatures were a bit below normal.  However, we then put together a string of 12 straight days of 90 degree or hotter readings.

The 28th and 29th then broke the streak with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s.  The month then closed with two days of above normal readings.

Thornton’s overall average temperature for the month came in at 74.7 degrees.  This is just above the long term Denver average for July of 74.2 degrees.  Out at DIA where the Mile High City’s official measurements are taken, the average for this July was much higher at 76.2 degrees.

Temperatures in Thornton ranged from the aforementioned 100.4 degrees on the 10th down to a low of 54.6 degrees on the morning of the 9th.  Denver’s official high for the month was 102 degrees on the 10th and its low of 51 degrees came on the 12th.

In terms of precipitation, Denver averages 2.16 inches during the July.  Thornton fell far short of that with a paltry 0.55 inches of rain in our bucket.  The airport, while receiving nearly double our total at 1.09 inches, was well short of average as well.

Click here to view Thornton’s July 2016 climate report.

Thornton, Colorado's July 2016 temperature summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado’s July 2016 temperature summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado's July 2016 precipitation summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Thornton, Colorado’s July 2016 precipitation summary. (ThorntonWeather.com)

From the National Weather Service:

CLIMATE REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER/BOULDER CO
235 AM MDT MON AUG 1 2016

................................... 

...THE DENVER CO CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR THE MONTH OF JULY 2016... 

CLIMATE NORMAL PERIOD 1981 TO 2010
CLIMATE RECORD PERIOD 1872 TO 2016

WEATHER         OBSERVED          NORMAL  DEPART  LAST YEAR`S
                 VALUE   DATE(S)  VALUE   FROM    VALUE  DATE(S)
                                          NORMAL
................................................................ 
TEMPERATURE (F)
RECORD
 HIGH             105   07/20/2005
 LOW               42   07/04/1903
                        07/31/1873
HIGHEST           102   07/10         M      -3       97  07/27
LOWEST             51   07/12         M       9       52  07/28
AVG. MAXIMUM     92.0              89.4     2.6     87.6
AVG. MINIMUM     60.5              58.9     1.6     57.9
MEAN             76.2              74.2     2.0     72.8
DAYS MAX >= 90     22              16.0     6.0       16
DAYS MAX <= 32      0               0.0     0.0        0
DAYS MIN <= 32      0               0.0     0.0        0
DAYS MIN <= 0       0               0.0     0.0        0

PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
RECORD
 MAXIMUM         6.41   1965
 MINIMUM         0.01   1901
TOTALS           1.07              2.16   -1.09     1.06
DAILY AVG.       0.03              0.07   -0.04     0.03
DAYS >= .01         6               8.3    -2.3       12
DAYS >= .10         4               4.3    -0.3        3
DAYS >= .50         1               1.4    -0.4        0
DAYS >= 1.00        0               0.7    -0.7        0
GREATEST
 24 HR. TOTAL    0.61   07/01 TO 07/01           07/18 TO 07/18
                        06/30 TO 07/01                    07/29 TO 07/29
                        07/01 TO 07/01                    07/29 TO 07/29
 STORM TOTAL       MM                                 MM
 (MM/DD(HH))            MM                    07/18(00) TO 07/18(00)
                                                 07/29(00) TO 07/29(00)9
                                                 07/29(00) TO 07/29(00)9

SNOWFALL (INCHES)
RECORDS
 TOTAL             MM   MM
TOTALS            0.0               0.0

DEGREE_DAYS
HEATING TOTAL       0                 6      -6        5
 SINCE 7/1          0                 6      -6        5
COOLING TOTAL     356               289      67      251
 SINCE 1/1        544               444     100      409

FREEZE DATES
RECORD
 EARLIEST     09/08/1962
 LATEST       06/08/2007
EARLIEST                        10/07
LATEST                          05/05
.......................................................... 

WIND (MPH)
AVERAGE WIND SPEED              10.2
RESULTANT WIND SPEED/DIRECTION   3/169
HIGHEST WIND SPEED/DIRECTION    54/340    DATE  07/24
HIGHEST GUST SPEED/DIRECTION    74/340    DATE  07/24

SKY COVER
POSSIBLE SUNSHINE (PERCENT)   MM
AVERAGE SKY COVER           0.50
NUMBER OF DAYS FAIR           10
NUMBER OF DAYS PC             19
NUMBER OF DAYS CLOUDY          2

AVERAGE RH (PERCENT)     46

WEATHER CONDITIONS. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH
THUNDERSTORM             12     MIXED PRECIP               0
HEAVY RAIN                1     RAIN                       0
LIGHT RAIN               13     FREEZING RAIN              0
LT FREEZING RAIN          0     HAIL                       0
HEAVY SNOW                0     SNOW                       0
LIGHT SNOW                0     SLEET                      0
FOG                       3     FOG W/VIS <= 1/4 MILE      0
HAZE                      1

-  INDICATES NEGATIVE NUMBERS.
R  INDICATES RECORD WAS SET OR TIED.
MM INDICATES DATA IS MISSING.
T  INDICATES TRACE AMOUNT.
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Thornton’s August preview: Temperatures cool, severe weather eases

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 6:26am MST

As summer vacations wind down and families prepare to send their kids back to school in August, Colorado weather also starts to settle down. The chances for severe weather decrease markedly during August and by the end of the month daytime temperatures are dropping quite a bit as well.

Find out more about what lies ahead with Thornton’s August weather here.

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July 31 to August 6: This Week in Denver Weather History

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 5:26am MST
This Week In Denver Weather History

July 31 to August 6: This Week in Denver Weather History

How does 42 degrees sound right about now? That mark is one of the highlights of this week in Denver weather history. It was the low temperature recorded twice in our past and the coldest July temperature on record. Many more notable events have also occurred.

From the National Weather Service:

13-5

In 2008…a streak of 24 consecutive days of 90 degrees shattered the previous record of 18 consecutive days established in 1901 and 1874. Ironically…no new single day record high temperatures were set in the month of July. In August however…a record of 104 degrees was set on the 1st…and another record of 103 degrees was set on the 2nd. In addition…a record low min of 70 degrees was set on August 2nd.

18-2

In 1987…a streak of 16 consecutive days of 90 degrees ranked 4th on the list of hot streaks. The record of 24 consecutive days was established in the summer of 2008.

27-31

In 1956…96 percent of the total precipitation for the month of July occurred over the last five days of the month. Heavy thunderstorms produced 4.00 inches of rainfall at Stapleton Airport. This amount of precipitation in 5 days or less had been exceeded only 3 times in previous record. The last time had been in December of 1913 as snow. Considerable property damage occurred across metro Denver from flooding.

31

In 1873…the all-time lowest recorded temperature in July… 42 degrees…occurred. The same temperature also occurred on July 4…1903.

In 1874…during the late afternoon rain and hail fell for 5 minutes followed by brief heavy rain. Pieces of solid ice of irregular shape fell upon the roof of the station. The hail stones measured 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Precipitation (rain and melted hail) was only 0.16 inch.

In 1889…the high temperature climbed to 100 degrees in downtown Denver.

In 1919…heavy thunderstorm rainfall totaled 2.59 inches in downtown Denver during the evening. Rainfall was 1.90 inches in an hour…a new record at that time.

In 1961…over an inch of rain in a short period of time caused flooding of streets and basements in Denver. Rainfall totaled 1.30 inches at 11th and Lincoln in central Denver.

In 1964…the temperature reached 91 degrees in Denver…making this the 27th day of the month that the temperature reached 90 degrees or more. This is the all time record for 90 degree days in a month in Denver.

In 1972…one inch diameter hail fell in Hudson northeast of Denver.

In 1976…during the evening hours extremely heavy thunderstorm rains produced flash flooding in Big Thompson Canyon which killed 144 people between Estes Park and Loveland. No significant weather occurred in metro Denver at the time.

In 1987…1 inch diameter hail fell in Lakewood and 3/4 inch hail fell near Louisville. Southeast Boulder County was drenched with 1.25 inches of rain in just 20 minutes.

In 1993…thunderstorm winds damaged a chimney of a home near Parker.

In 1996…a weak tornado (f0) was sighted 12 miles east of Denver International Airport. No damage was reported.

In 1998…heavy monsoonal thunderstorm rain triggered a mud slide in Blackhawk. The mudslide blocked Main St. and caused an estimated half million dollars in damage to a casino. Heavy thunderstorm rain…up to 3 inches in an hour…caused a flash flood along Buffalo Creek. Portions of County Road 126 just south of the town of Buffalo Creek were washed out. The flood waters nearly washed away the bridge as mud and debris slammed into the structure. Hail to 1 3/4 inches in diameter fell near Idaho Springs.

In 2004…severe thunderstorm winds toppled a 65-foot blue spruce tree in Parker. The tree landed on a home damaging the roof and gutters. The downed tree poked dozens of holes into the shingles.

In 2013…severe thunderstorm winds… with gusts estimated to 80 mph…downed power poles which caused scattered outages in and around Byers…Bennett and Strasburg. Some property damage was also observed. Near Byers…aluminum siding and roofing was peeled off sheds. Large hail…up to one inch in diameter… was reported north of Bennett. At Denver International Airport…a peak wind gust to 40 mph was observed from the northeast.

1

In 1888…heavy rain in the mountains and foothills caused flooding on clear creek in Golden. The high waters also washed away portions of the railroad tracks in the canyon between Idaho Springs and Golden.

In 1901…the temperature reached a high of 100 degrees in the city.

In 1902…the high temperature climbed to 100 degrees in downtown Denver.

In 1914…a thunderstorm produced 1.00 inch of rainfall in just 21 minutes and north winds sustained at 43 mph with gusts to 50 mph. Rainfall totaled 1.17 inches.

In 1938…the temperature climbed to a high of 100 degrees in downtown Denver…which is the record maximum for the date. The temperature was also recorded on this date in previous years.

In 1976…flight operations at Stapleton International Airport were suspended for 90 minutes when the airport tower radar was knocked out and water reached a foot deep on some taxi ramps after 1.50 inches of rain fell in one hour. Heavy rain also caused minor flooding in east Denver and Aurora where lightning damaged the roof of a home and injured the owner. One young man was swept down a flooded ditch…but was rescued by firemen. A number of rafts were floated in flooded streets. Thunderstorm rainfall totaled 1.71 inches at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1978…a tornado damaged a house and broke a power pole 5 miles northwest of Parker. A microburst wind gust to 52 mph briefly reduced visibility to 1 mile in blowing dust at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1985…heavy thunderstorms roared through the southern and western sections of metro Denver…producing large hail and heavy rain. Lightning hit a recreational vehicle trailer causing it to burn. There was a lot of street flooding over western suburbs where rainfall totaled over 2 inches in some areas. One inch diameter hail was reported in Littleton and near Evergreen. Hail piled 4 to 6 inches deep at Tinytown in the foothills southwest of Denver.

In 1990…a small rope-like tornado was spotted in open country 15 miles southeast of centennial airport. No damage was reported from the twister.

In 1992…pilots reported a funnel cloud near the construction site of the new Denver International Airport. A few minutes later…a tornado was reported near Bennett. The tornado remained on the ground for about 18 minutes and was visible from the national weather service office at Stapleton International Airport. Thunderstorm wind gusts to 70 mph were reported near Bennett and Watkins with a wind gust to 60 mph at Brighton. Two men were injured when struck by lightning. A young man sustained serious injuries when struck by lightning while jet skiing on Cheery Creek Reservoir. A man received only minor injuries when struck by lightning while golfing in Westminster.

In 1994…heavy thunderstorm rains in the foothills west of Denver caused the closure of the Virginia Canyon Road north of Idaho Springs by rocks and debris.

In 2001…a 34 year old man on the South Platte River bike path in Denver received minor injuries when lightning struck a nearby tree. Lightning…coupled with strong thunderstorm winds…knocked out electrical power to about 10 thousand homes and businesses in Golden.

In 2006…strong thunderstorms hit southern metro Denver. A severe thunderstorm wind gust estimated to 71 mph knocked down a tree in Aurora near Cherry Creek. Lightning sparked a fire in a home near lone tree and struck a transformer at an RTD light rail station at Interstate 25 and Yosemite Street. Heavy thunderstorm rainfall forced the closure of Arapahoe Road between Holly and Quebec streets due to high water. Flooding was also reported near Park Meadows Mall and Greenwood Village. Heavy rainfall also caused flooding in Highlands Ranch…lone tree…and Parker. Water up to 6 inches deep was reportedly running over the roads.

2

In 1878…the high temperature reached 100 degrees in downtown Denver.

In 1911…an apparent dry microburst produced sustained west winds to 42 mph.

In 1972…one workman was killed and another injured when a strong gust of wind destroyed a partially completed apartment building in south Denver. Hail to 1 3/4 inch diameter fell in Golden.

In 1973…hail to 3/4 inch diameter was reported in Boulder.

In 1986…a major outbreak of severe thunderstorms occurred along the Front Range. Thunderstorms developed explosively. Some places were hit by large hail twice. Two inch diameter hail broke car windows on I-25 west of Brighton…and up to 1 1/4 inch hail broke windows in Thornton. Baseball size hail damaged several planes near Watkins. Funnel clouds were sighted around Aurora. Hail over 1/2 inch in diameter covered the ground 3 to 4 inches deep at Hudson northeast of Denver. Most of the hail fell north of metro Denver…but 3/4 inch diameter hail was measured at Stapleton International Airport. Total damage from the hail storms this day was estimated at over 10 million dollars.

In 1991…late afternoon thunderstorms produced heavy rain across metro Denver. Two feet of water covered parts of I-25 in southeast Denver…while one foot of water covered parts of U.S. Highway 285 in Englewood. Thunderstorm rainfall totaled 0.50 inch at Stapleton International Airport.

In 2001…severe thunderstorms producing heavy rain and hail… Either washed out or damaged several County roads in the Watkins and Bennett areas. A small tornado (f0) touched down near Bennett…but did no damage. Hail as large as 1 3/4 inches in diameter fell near Watkins. One inch diameter hail was measured near Hudson and Keenesburg.

In 2008…strong winds blew several trees down in Denver… Damaging homes and downing power lines. A peak wind gust of 67 mph occurred at Centennial airport…with gusts to 60 mph estimated in Denver. A peak wind gust of 37 mph was measured at Denver International Airport. An elderly man was killed when a wind damaged tree broke free and crushed him while he attempted to remove it. The downed power lines caused outages to about 500 Xcel Energy customers.

2-3

In 1876…grasshoppers were in great abundance in the city and caused considerable damage to gardens and to crops in the surrounding farms and ranches.

In 1951…heavy thunderstorms rumbled across metro Denver through the night. Heavy rain totaled 3.45 inches at Stapleton Airport. This was the greatest 24 hour precipitation ever recorded during the month of August in Denver.

In 2007…heavy rain caused localized flash flooding near Ft. Lupton. Up to 8 inches of water was reported across County road 18.

In addition…several other County roads in the immediate area were washed out.

» Click here to read the rest of July 31 to August 6: This Week in Denver Weather History

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Wednesday offers hot temps, chance for storms late

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 5:22am MST

One more hot day then we expect to see some relief. Today will bring some of the hottest temperatures of the week with some storm activity expected but later than normal.

We start out with mostly sunny skies to be followed by a slow increase in cloud cover as the day progresses. Temperatures will be climbing toward a high in the mid-90s, well above the average for the date of 89 degrees. Some scattered thunderstorms may be seen this evening.

Looking ahead, we continue to track a cold front expected to arrive tomorrow and bring a change in the overall pattern. Temperatures Thursday and Friday should drop into the upper 70s and then warm back up close to normal for the weekend.

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Above normal temperatures, slight chance for storms Tuesday

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 5:14am MST

The same weather pattern we have been seeing lately continues today and tomorrow. However, we do continue to expect a change toward cooler conditions for the latter part of the workweek.

For today we start out with mostly sunny skies that will last for the morning and the early afternoon. There will be a little bit of moisture to work with so from mid to late afternoon into this evening we see just a slight chance for thunderstorms. Temperatures today will be climbing into the low to mid-90s.

Looking ahead, tomorrow offers conditions similar to today, perhaps even a bit warmer. After that, we expect a cold front to arrive bringing much cooler mercury readings Thursday and Friday along with better chances for precipitation. More details in the extended forecast.

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Thornton’s workweek starts off mild and dry

Monday, August 1st, 2016 6:11am MST

With drier air now in place, we see our small chances of storms disappear on Monday – not that they have been bringing any precipitation to us anyway.

Sunny skies start things off then we will see a few clouds as the day progresses but overall a healthy dose of sun will be with us. Temperatures will be climb to a high in the low 90s and we aren’t expecting any storm activity.

Looking ahead, Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to continue the heat with minimal chances for storms. However, a trough looks to dig in later in the week and that should provide not only cooler temperatures but better chances for precipitation.

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Thornton’s weekend to start cooler, then warm right back up

Friday, July 29th, 2016 5:50am MST

We do get a bit of a break from the above normal temperatures today but with a healthy dose of humidity and chance for storms. The rest of the three-day period is going to see the mercury return to levels at or above normal.

For today we see a good deal of low level moisture which is going to cause some cloud cover and possibly storms later. Temperatures will be cooler with highs in the mid-80s but it will feel sticky with humidity levels around 50%. We do see another chance for storms this afternoon and particularly this evening, some of which could turn severe so keep close watch.

Saturday looks to be quite nice with a healthy dose of sun but also which temperatures back in the low 90s.

We close out the weekend on Sunday with more clouds but also with increased temperatures. The afternoon brings a slight chance for storms.

Have a great weekend!

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NOAA to develop new global weather model

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 7:17pm MST

The EarthThe primary model created by the United States for weather forecasting has been long overdue for some significant upgrades.  NOAA has recently been making great strides in improving the system and has announced more details on the latest.

From NOAA:

July 27, 2016 NOAA took a significant step toward building the world’s best global weather model today, a priority for the agency and the nation. NOAA announced the selection of a new dynamic core, the engine of a numerical weather prediction model, and will begin developing a state-of-the-art global weather forecasting model to replace the U.S. Global Forecast System (GFS).

The new global model will continue to be called the GFS. As with the current GFS, the new GFS will run in the background of NOAA’s suite of weather and climate models improving skill across all NOAA’s forecast mission areas.

“Using our powerful supercomputers, our new dynamic core which drives the model, and the newest modeling techniques, we are poised to develop and run a more accurate and reliable global model that is used as a basis for all weather forecasts in the U.S.,” said Louis W. Uccellini, director, NOAA’s National Weather Service.

The new dynamic core, Finite-Volume on a Cubed-Sphere (FV3), was developed by NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey. The FV3 core brings a new level of accuracy and numeric efficiency to the model’s representation of atmospheric processes such as air motions. This makes possible simulations of clouds and storms, at resolutions not yet used in an operational global model.

The FV3 core enables the model to provide localized forecasts for several weather events simultaneously all while generating a global forecast every six hours. Looking 10 years ahead, the GFS model with the FV3 core will run in higher resolution and be able to zoom in on smaller and smaller storm systems to provide forecasters better pictures of how storms will evolve.

Goals for the new model are:

  • a unified system to improve forecast accuracy beyond 8 to 10 days
  • better model forecasts of hurricane track and intensity, and
  • the extension of weather forecasting through 14 days and for extreme events, 3 to 4 weeks in advance.

Engaging the meteorology community during model development and improvement is a priority for NOAA. The agency plans to develop a program to involve researchers in testing and improving algorithms, data assimilation methods and physics. The goal is to incorporate successful enhancements into operations.

“We are collaborating with the best model developers in the U.S. and around the world to ensure the GFS has the most recent advances in weather prediction modeling, and so we can accelerate improvements to the model as they are developed,” Uccellini added.

Building the Next Generation Global Prediction System will take a tremendous amount of testing, analysis and verification. Model components, including the physics package, data assimilation and post processing—all parts of the existing architecture—will be rebuilt and improved to work with the new software.

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NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 6:23pm MST
A new NASA study says that Antarctica is overall accumulating ice. Still, areas of the continent, like the Antarctic Peninsula photographed above, have increased their mass loss in the last decades. (NASA's Operation IceBridge)

A new NASA study says that Antarctica is overall accumulating ice. Still, areas of the continent, like the Antarctic Peninsula photographed above, have increased their mass loss in the last decades. (NASA’s Operation IceBridge)

Interesting. NASA study conflicts directly with much of the climate change narrative about ice in Antarctica.

From NASA:

A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

“We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study, which was published on Oct. 30 in the Journal of Glaciology. “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.”  Zwally added that his team “measured small height changes over large areas, as well as the large changes observed over smaller areas.”

Scientists calculate how much the ice sheet is growing or shrinking from the changes in surface height that are measured by the satellite altimeters. In locations where the amount of new snowfall accumulating on an ice sheet is not equal to the ice flow downward and outward to the ocean, the surface height changes and the ice-sheet mass grows or shrinks.

But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years — I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.”

The study analyzed changes in the surface height of the Antarctic ice sheet measured by radar altimeters on two European Space Agency European Remote Sensing (ERS) satellites, spanning from 1992 to 2001, and by the laser altimeter on NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) from 2003 to 2008.

Zwally said that while other scientists have assumed that the gains in elevation seen in East Antarctica are due to recent increases in snow accumulation, his team used meteorological data beginning in 1979 to show that the snowfall in East Antarctica actually decreased by 11 billion tons per year during both the ERS and ICESat periods. They also used information on snow accumulation for tens of thousands of years, derived by other scientists from ice cores, to conclude that East Antarctica has been thickening for a very long time.

“At the end of the last Ice Age, the air became warmer and carried more moisture across the continent, doubling the amount of snow dropped on the ice sheet,” Zwally said.

The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia, thickening the ice in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7 centimeters) per year. This small thickening, sustained over thousands of years and spread over the vast expanse of these sectors of Antarctica, corresponds to a very large gain of ice – enough to outweigh the losses from fast-flowing glaciers in other parts of the continent and reduce global sea level rise.

Zwally’s team calculated that the mass gain from the thickening of East Antarctica remained steady from 1992 to 2008 at 200 billion tons per year, while the ice losses from the coastal regions of West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula increased by 65 billion tons per year.

“The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,” Zwally said. “But this is also bad news. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for.”

“The new study highlights the difficulties of measuring the small changes in ice height happening in East Antarctica,” said Ben Smith, a glaciologist with the University of Washington in Seattle who was not involved in Zwally’s study.

“Doing altimetry accurately for very large areas is extraordinarily difficult, and there are measurements of snow accumulation that need to be done independently to understand what’s happening in these places,” Smith said.

To help accurately measure changes in Antarctica, NASA is developing the successor to the ICESat mission, ICESat-2, which is scheduled to launch in 2018. “ICESat-2 will measure changes in the ice sheet within the thickness of a No. 2 pencil,” said Tom Neumann, a glaciologist at Goddard and deputy project scientist for ICESat-2. “It will contribute to solving the problem of Antarctica’s mass balance by providing a long-term record of elevation changes.”

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July 2016 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 5:15pm MST
The McNeil twins take in the fireworks on the 4th of July. (Jennifer McNeil)

The McNeil twins take in the fireworks on the 4th of July. (Jennifer McNeil)

Colorado offers outdoor opportunities unlike any other state and while the summer heat settles in, photos of the amazing scenes across our state provide a view into why we love it here so much.

The weather this time of year has a pretty standard pattern of quickly warming temperatures followed by afternoon thunderstorms that can cool things down.  These storms sometimes provide a good bit of ‘excitement’ and are a prime photo subject.

  • Slideshow updated July 25, 2016

Recreationalists head outdoors and take advantage of urban, suburban and rural opportunities.  As they do, our abundant wildlife that is found just about anywhere comes into focus.

Showcasing images captured by ThorntonWeather.com readers as well as some of our own, our monthly slideshow covers the entire gamut of weather and nature related imagery.   Sunsets, sunrises, wildlife and of course every type of weather condition are vividly depicted.

To learn more about how to send your photo to us for inclusion in the slideshow, see below the slideshow.

What is missing in the slideshow above?  Your photo!

Our monthly photo slideshow is going to feature images that we have taken but more importantly images that you have captured.  The photos can be of anything even remotely weather-related.

Landscapes, current conditions, wildlife, pets, kids.  Whimsical, newsy, artsy.  Taken at the zoo, some other area attraction, a local park, a national park or your backyard.  You name it, we want to see and share it!

Images can be taken in Thornton, Denver or anywhere across the extraordinary Centennial State.  We’ll even take some from out of state if we can tie it to Colorado somehow.

We’ll keep the criteria very open to interpretation with just about any image eligible to be shown in our slideshows.

What do you win for having your image in our slideshow?  We are just a ‘mom and pop’ outfit and make no money from our site so we really don’t have the means to provide prizes.  However you will have our undying gratitude and the satisfaction that your images are shared on the most popular website in Thornton.

To share you images with us and get them included in the slideshow just email them to us or share them with ThorntonWeather.com on any of the various social media outlets.  Links are provided below.

So come on, get those camera’s rolling!

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