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The Science Behind Colorado’s Thousand-Year Flood

David Roose

Parts of Boulder are experiencing a 1-in-1,000 year flood. Due in part to the combination of an active, drenching Southwest monsoon and a low pressure area that trapped over the region. A tropical air mass—unusual in the dry Rocky Mountains—is slowly being being hauled across the Front Range by weak southwesterly winds. This is known as an orographic lift, which is converting the incredibly moist air into sheets and sheets of rainfall.

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