In The Durango Herald’s “WeatherWatch” section, there’s a shaded box that says, “Durango precipitation measures are recorded from 8 a.m. to 8 a.m. in the previous 48 hours.” So, being that it reports precipitation measurements each day, how is this possible? A call I made to the Herald about 10 years ago did not yield an answer. Can you help? – Weatherman
What we have is a curious chronological conundrum. And it’s not about 24-hour or 48-hour monitoring.
It’s that this issue has been bugging you for the past decade.
So let’s start a cold-case investigation with your hot-button issue.
Action Line turned to the Herald’s senior editor, Amy Maestas, who pointed out the quirks of locations and deadlines.
“The Herald relies on a National Weather Service weather watcher who has a weather station in town,” she said. “We do this to avoid using the reported precipitation and snowfall at the Durango-La Plata County Airport.”
As we all know, the airport is on a different meteorological planet than town. By the way, an $85 million terminal expansion project won’t change that.
With in-town measurements, readers get more relevant weather data. But there’s a hitch.
“Because the Herald print edition goes to press at 11 p.m. every day, it can report numbers only from the previous 48 hours,” Amy points out.
“For example, the Monday print edition that is delivered Monday morning can provide precipitation or snow totals only from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday. So by the time the Monday edition comes out, it has been 48 hours since Saturday morning, when the measuring began,” she said.
“If we said the previous 24 hours, readers would think it was from 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday. That’s not possible.”
To avoid another 10 years of angst, Action Line suggests the Bob Dylan approach: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
The other option: monitor climate change daily with the best home weather station money can buy.
The next time there’s a precipitation discrepancy, you can trump questionable measurements with real-time info from your rooftop gauges. Although a premium weather station will cost a king’s ransom.
H H H Last week’s column on roadside gravel got the gears turning in some people’s heads, mainly among the local cycling community.
A Durango Wheel Club member, who asked for anonymity, called for common sense.
“There seems to be a mentality that when you’re in a team ride that you have different road rights than everyday cyclists,” our loyal reader lamented.
“What makes me upset are fellow cyclists who pack ride and don’t call out “car back!” or flip people off and stir up animosity. It seems worse in Durango both ways.”
And it’s not just paved-road rancor. Our loyal reader recounts a recent fat-tire misadventure out west of town.
“I was mountain biking alone above Mancos and two ‘cowboys’ chased me down in a pickup that had a gun in the rack, saying that they had trouble with my ‘type’ being in ‘their forest,’ our cyclist said.
“Apparently their interpretation of the Constitution gave them special rights.”
Fortunately, a “Deliverance” moment didn’t occur. “We talked a bit, and I was able to ride away, but that other 1 percent of drivers can be rough over in ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ Montezuma County,” he added.
“I’ve been thinking of a Follies skit about cyclists and drivers. The idiosyncrasies of Durango cyclists in particular lend themselves to excellent satire.”
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you attend Action Line’s lawn-shaming gardening talk at 7 p.m. May 10 at the Durango Community Recreation Center. It’s part of the Durango Botanical Society’s Horticulture Week.