The city of Aspen recorded 2.68 inches of precipitation in September, an increase of about 1 inch compared with the month’s 1.76-inch average.
That’s according to the National Weather Service’s Grand Junction office, which records the numbers at the Aspen Business Center.
September was the third consecutive month of strong monsoon weather patterns, allowing the Aspen City Council to lift its drought designation Sept. 23. The designation, which imposed surcharges for excessive water use, went into effect 14 months ago, giving Aspen its first back-to-back drought years since the 1950s.
Lee Ledesma, utilities operations manager for the city, said 2012’s drought was one of the worst Aspen has ever seen, with 1977 and 2002 rounding out the top three. But in 2013, July, August and September helped to curb the trend. At the start of summer, Aspen was at 70 percent of average precipitation for the year. As of Monday, Aspen was at 95 percent.
“It’s really hard to bring those percentages up, especially in that time span,” Ledesma said.
Under the Stage 1 drought designation, the city reduced water consumption by 11 percent in 2013, surpassing its goal of 10 percent. Ledesma said local government facilities and the Aspen Golf & Tennis Club showed significant reduction.
Aspen will revisit conditions in April to assess total snowpack and watershed.