Crossposted at SquareState.
I’m sure those of us in the Denver metro area have noticed that July has been pretty warm this year. For those that are interested in details, a large ridge has established itself over these and other parts (a ridge is the opposite of a trough; troughs move air-masses around and ridges keep them in place). The result has been higher than climatological average temperatures and less than average precipitation.
The local NWS office has officially recorded 15 consecutive days of high temperatures of 90 degrees or more for Denver (at DIA). The record streak for Denver is 18 days. I’ve seen observations over 90 at Denver today, so add one to the streak. The high temperature should exceed 90 the rest of this week, so the record could be broken in a big way. Before I count those chickens, however, it’s instructive to look at the years still officially with longer streaks: 1987 (16 days), 2000 (17 days), 1874 and 1901 (18 days each). 2000 had a second streak later the same summer of 12 consecutive days of 90+ degrees.
If you were around in 2005, you probably remember July of that year was warmer overall. It didn’t have very long streaks of high temperatures, but it did have the most 100+ degree days in Denver history with seven, five of which happened in a row. Ugh!
What about precipitation? That’s not looking so good for Denver (again, officially at DIA now). As of the beginning of this year, 2002 stands as the driest year in Denver’s history. So far, this year is drier. And not only is it drier, it’s significantly drier. Take a look:
2002 2008 (inches)
Jan 0.48 0.08
Feb 0.32 0.18
Mar 0.53 0.17
Apr 0.23 0.32
May 0.94 1.56
Jun 1.45 0.73
July thru 26th 1.39 0.24
Total 5.34 3.28
Keep this in mind: one or two storms can make up this entire difference. A heavy rainstorm or snowstorm right over the station at DIA can significantly add to this year’s total. 2008’s numbers aren’t the end of the world. But they’re definitely worth noting.
I’m also left wishing once again for a robust mechanism to get town-by-town results from across Colorado. How do Durango, Grand Junction, Pueblo and Greeley compare, for instance? Such things take money and time, though…