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Ogmius Newsletter

Muddy flood waters of Boulder Creek in Boulder, Colorado, during the rain and flooding event of September 2013.

Muddy flood waters of Boulder Creek in Boulder, Colorado, during the rain and flooding event of September 2013.

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In September 2013, the Front Range of Colorado experienced record or near-record precipitation that claimed 9 lives, destroyed or seriously damaged thousands of homes and resulted in billions of dollars of damage. In the aftermath of the floods the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado convened a panel of local experts to discuss its preliminary assessment of the event and answer questions. In this issue of Ogmius we present further thoughts about the floods from two of the panelists, Nolan Doesken and Klaus Wolter. Nolan and Klaus raise important policy questions about the floods.

Nolan Doesken is the State Climatologist for Colorado and has been with the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University since 1977. The Colorado Climate Center is responsible for monitoring the climate of Colorado. Following the Fort Collins and Pawnee Creek floods of July 1997, Nolan initiated a volunteer program engaging citizens in helping track local variations in precipitation.

Klaus Wolter is a Research Associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, within the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory - Physical Sciences Division. His main interests are empirical climate research, in particular the application of statistical methods to climate problems, such as the impact of ENSO on world-wide climate. Through his work with the Western Water Assessment and National Integrated Drought Information System he has developed statistical tools that allow him to make seasonal climate predictions.

Comments welcome! info@sciencepolicy.colorado.edu

2013 Boulder Creek flood aftermath. Photo: David Oonk/CIRES.

Climate, Floods and Public Policy

by Nolan Doesken

Big Thompson State Highway 34. Photo: Grace Hood / KUNC.

Thoughts About The September Floods In Colorado’s Front Range

by Klaus Wolter