December storms hearken the arrival of winter weather
Winter came to San Juan County with a vengeance in December, building a healthy base for the snow pack in area mountains and increase precipitation totals in the high desert.
A massive storm hit in the days surrounding Christmas, with impacts throughout the county, from school closures to the loss of the fragile water system at Navajo Mountain.
The bad weather contributed to bad driving conditions on roads in the county. As a result, there were a number of accidents and even more delays.
Year to date precipitation in many areas continue to be above the historical average. For the water year that begins on October 1, Blanding has 126 percent and Bluff has 122 percent of normal amounts. Monticello currently sits at 88 percent of normal levels.
In recent years, even when precipitation totals were higher than average, the snow totals have fallen. December of 2008 is in marked contrast to the recent trend, with significantly higher than average snow totals. For the water year, Monticello has amassed 40 inches of snow, Blanding has 28.5 inches and Bluff has had a total of nearly 10 inches of snow.
January is generally the coldest month of the year