Colorado FloodSeptember 17th, 2013 at 1:23 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Regarding the flood in Colorado: “As is typical of Colorado storms, some parts of the state were hard hit and others were untouched. Still, this storm is ranking in the top ten extreme flooding events since Colorado statehood,” said Nolan Doesken, State Climatologist at CSU. “It isn’t yet as extreme or widespread as the June 1965 floods or as dramatic as the 1935 floods but it ranks right up there among some of the worst.”
Among the worst, according to Climate Center data, occurred in May 1904, October 1911, June 1921, May 1935, September 1938, May 1955, June 1965, May 1969, October 1970, July 1976, July 1981, and, of course, the Spring Creek Flood of July 1997 that ravaged Fort Collins and the CSU campus. “Every flood event in Colorado has its own unique characteristics,” said Doesken. “But the topography of the Colorado Front Range makes this area particularly vulnerable when the necessary meteorological conditions come together as they did this week.”
The flood on the Big Thompson River on 7/31/1976 resulted in 143 fatalities – 5 of whom were never found. A 20-foot wall of water raced down the canyon at approx. 14 mph after nearly 12″ of rain fell in 4 hours. Here’s monthly rainfall with today 30-day average rainfall in ( ): Denver 4.65″ (0.98″), Colorado Springs 4.00″ (1.19″), Boulder 3.37″ (1.68″). Areas near Boulder have picked up 6-12″ of rain for the month.