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Same ol’ weather isn’t grounded in reality

Durango missed out on being stuck in the meteorological Groundhog Day of “31 degrees, light snow.” Phew!

The NOAA website for Durango is one of my go-to sources for weather forecasts, along with durangoweatherguy.com. However, for many days now the NOAA site has shown incorrect information – and the local icon has been stuck on “31 degrees, light snow,” regardless of current conditions. I emailed NOAA, and a kind soul responded that a “trouble ticket” was submitted to the IT department. Perhaps the weather folks figure that since it’s winter in Durango, it’s bound to be “31 degrees and snowing” sometime. – A DRO Weather Junkie

It’s like the timely old saying: Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

But wouldn’t you know it? Time expired.

Before Action Line could heat things up at the National Weather Service, the website was no longer clouded by wrong information.

So the outlook is clear.

But imagine if the weather were actually “31 degrees, light snow” everyday until and including Sunday, Feb. 2?

Feb. 2 just happens to be Groundhog Day. Remember the movie of the same name?

If you have never seen the cinematic tour de farce, spend some quality time streaming this 1993 classic.

Bill Murray stars as Phil Conner, a contemptible TV weatherman who is yet again sent to podunk Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the Groundhog Day – whoop-de-do.

The next day, he awakens only to find it’s the same day as yesterday and comes to realize he has to spend the rest of eternity reliving the same day, with the same people at the same place.

So Durango missed out on being stuck in the meteorological feedback loop of “31 degrees, light snow.” Phew!

But what if there were a summer Groundhog Day, something like “82 degrees, mostly sunny” for weeks on end?

That’s the extended forecast from the tourism office, where folks insist the Centennial State has “300 days of sunshine a year.”

Which would be great if it were true. But it’s not.

Journalist Joey Bunch, then writing for The Denver Post, threw shade on the 300-sunshine-days claim.

The seminal issue is semantics. There is no agreed-upon definition of a “sunny day.”

Is it a “Home on the Range” standard? “And the skies are not cloudy all day.”

Or is the optimist seeing the sky as half sunny rather than half cloudy?

Joey went with the National Weather Service’s calculation.

“If you apply the National Weather Service’s formula for defining a sunny day – primarily sky-cover of 30% or less – then Colorado each year averages 115 clear-sky days, 130 partly cloudy days and 120 cloudy days on the Front Range,” he wrote.

If you look up “sunny days per year” for Durango at BestPlaces.com, the answer is 266.

Not quite 300. But who’s counting?

As for that shadowy prognosticating punk rodent in Punxsutawney, we know we’re going to get punked.

Whether there’s six more weeks of winter or not, Durango will have a miserable April blast.

It happens every year.

The weather – amazingly! – will be “31 degrees, light snow.”

Groundhog Day?

It’s déjà vu all over again.

Email questions to actionline@durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if your favorite meteorologists are Frasier Tushov and Windsor Kalm.

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