During the month of July 2013, Denver, CO’s (link updated monthly) temperatures were 0.1°F above normal (74.3°F vs. 74.2°F). The National Weather Service recorded the maximum temperature of 100°F on the 11th and they recorded the minimum temperature of 55°F on the 2nd. Here is the time series of Denver temperatures in July 2013:
Figure 1. Time series of temperature at Denver, CO during July 2013. Daily high temperatures are in red, daily low temperatures are in blue, daily average temperatures are in green, climatological normal (1981-2010) high temperatures are in light gray, and normal low temperatures are in dark gray. [Source: NWS]
Compared to spring 2013, June and July brought less extreme weather to the Denver area. After a very warm start to the month’s temperature due to high pressure that covered the area since mid-June, cooler temperatures were the rule for the 2nd half of the month. This change was due to an active monsoon season. Clouds formed nearly every day and the NWS measured rain 9 out of the last 18 days of the month – a big change from last year.
Denver’s temperature was above normal for the past three months (May- June-July). May 2013 ended a short streak of four months with below normal temperatures. Seven of the past twelve months were warmer than normal. October finally broke last year’s extreme summer heat, which included the warmest month in Denver history: July 2012 (a mean of 78.9°F which was 4.7°F warmer than normal!).
Precipitation was lighter than normal during July 2013: only 1.98″ precipitation fell at Denver during the month instead of the normal 2.16″. Precipitation is a highly variable quantity though. The west side of the Denver Metro area received rainfall on days that the official Denver recording site did not, which is the usual case for convective-type precipitation.
Precipitation that fell during the past couple of months alleviated some of the worst drought conditions in northern Colorado. The link goes to a mid-August 2013 post. Almost all of Colorado continues under at least some measure of drought in early September 2013. The worst drought conditions (D4: Exceptional) continue to impact southeast Colorado however and the area with D4 conditions slowly expanded during the past few months. Absent a significant shift in the upper-level jet stream’s position, the NWS expects dry conditions to persist over CO during the next one to three months, which will likely worsen drought conditions.