The Weather Wire
December 2004 Volume 12 Number 11
Avg High 49.0
Avg Low 25.2
Snow - 11.4"
Season Snow - 12.8"
Precipitation - 0.45"
Avg High 51.5
Avg Low 23.5
Avg Snow - 10.7"
Avg Precip - 0.98"
Our local weather, not so local after all!|
We are constantly bombarded by the newspapers, TV, radio and other news outlets about, “Global Warming”, “Ozone Holes”, “A new Ice Age”, “Melting Polar Ice Caps” Etc. Four hurricanes hit Florida this past hurricane season, of course it must be global warming! If you were to believe everything that these headlines and reports tell you, we are the ones to blame for these supposed disasters and that we should cease all industrial activity immediately to save the planet!
In truth we have a smaller impact on the overall climate and conditions of the planet as a whole than some people would like you to believe. As a matter of fact if we look at past climates of this planet we have seen major global climate changes. At one time the Rocky Mountain region was a tropical climate. Then if you look at another time period huge sheets of Ice extended southward to northern portions of Colorado during the last Ice Age. Yes the earth’s climate have changed and rather dramatically at times.
Remember the old saying?? You can’t see the forest fore the trees! Sometimes we get so locked in on what is happening just in our own little piece of the universe that we cannot see the bigger picture. In a lot of ways our weather on a global scale all the way down to the local scale is and has been affected by much larger scale phenomena than just our own local climate forces.
Our sun 93 million miles away is out heat source and engine that drives our weather. While the sun in general burns at a constant rate and supplies a steady source of heat and energy. In truth the sun varies in its intensity and hence the amount of heat we receive varies from decade to decade and century to century. Even small fluctuations in the suns intensity can have dramatic effect on the weather here on earth. The earth’s orbit around the sun in general hasn’t changed much over the centuries. But again even small changes in distance either closer or further away will have an effect on our weather. The earth’s tilt of 23 and ½ degrees provides the earths ever changing seasons. Yet this tilt is not always 23 ½ degrees it has a small wobble in it and takes from decades to centuries to complete a cycle.
On a grander scale the earth is part of a tiny solar system on the edge of a large galaxy. This galaxy spins as it moves through the vastness of space. At times this motion will bring our solar system into clouds of gas and dust that populate the universe. These dust clouds even though very thin will have the effect of ever so slightly shielding the sun and cooling off our planet. Much like volcanic dust does when we have a large eruption.
Bringing things back down to earth and keeping with the volcanic idea. Did you know what is the biggest polluter in the state of Washington these days???? Mount St Helens!! Even though only in a weak eruption state it emits more sulfur dioxide than any other source in the state. There were times in earth’s history when volcanoes were quite common and spewed tons and tons of green house gasses into our atmosphere. It is thought that a very large volcanic era led to a very warm and tropical earth that was populated by dinosaurs. And that our planet has been cooling ever since! Then of course we have numerous theories of large asteroids hitting our planet and causing a sort of nuclear winter scenario.
Are we by our industrial activity having an effect on the global climate??? The short answer is yes! But not as big effect as some would like you to believe. In most cases, on the grand scheme, the effects that humans have, is rather small and puny!
Online Forecasts Available Again
Skyview Weather is happy to announce that online forecasts and snow reports are again available on our sister www.anythingweather.com website. Forecasts and snow reports are password protected, but an email to Tim@Skyview-WX.com requesting your forecast and/or snow reports be available online will result in an account being setup for you. As always, forecasts and snow reports are for client use only, but with the online access, forecasts and snow reports are just a click away from any computer with an internet connection!
Drought conditions continue to improve across most of Colorado, with above average precipitation in many areas during November, 2004.
The map below shows forecasted temperature deviances for the December 2004 time period. As can be seen, normal temperatures are expected for much of Colorado for December.
The map below shows forecasted precipitation deviances for December 2004. Normal or near normal precipitation is expected for December 2004 all of Colorado.
As can be seen in the below map, drought conditions are expected to continue to improve across much of Colorado through February 2005.
The winter storm that moved into the Denver metro area the day after Thanksgiving dumped enough snow to bring the monthly total to above normal. Total for the month was 11.4 surpassing the normal of 10-7 by only 0.7 inch. Greatest 24 hour snowfall was 4.5 inches on the 28th and 29th. However the precipitation total for the month was only 0.45 inch, which was 0.53 inch below normal. November now, becoming the second month in a row with below normal precipitation. 24 hour maximum liquid was 0.18 inch on the 26th.
Temperatures during the month averaged just slightly below normal. Temperatures ranged from 72 degrees down to –1 degree. The average temperature was 37.1 degrees, which was 0.4 degrees below the normal of 37.5 degrees. No temperatures records were set or tied during the month. The minus one temperature on the 29th was the first below zero temperature recorded this winter.
Although winter does not officially arrive until Dec 21st, under normal conditions, by December 21st Denver has usually already experienced a taste of winter.
Normally, prolonged cold spells are more frequent in January, however, 2 of Denver’s longest cold spells occurred during December. In 1983 the temperature dropped below zero on the 20th and did not return to above zero until Christmas day, a record of 115 hours. The temperature was below zero for 85.5 hours during December 1990 and during that period the mercury dropped to 25 degrees below zero on the 22nd, tying the record for the lowest ever Denver December temperature.
Even though December ranks as only Denver’s sixth snowiest month, some of Denver’s biggest and most memorable snowstorms occurred in December. The Christmas blizzard, in 1982, rates as one of the most vicious snowstorms in Denver history. Snow began on the 24th and by mid-day on Christmas day, in a period of 24 hours 23.6 inches of snow fell at old Stapleton setting a record for a 24 hour snowfall. The most snow for one storm, 45.7 inches, occurred in 1913 when snow fell for the first six days of the month. Just over 37 inches of that total fell on the 4th and 5th.
December can have several occurrences of Chinook winds mostly near the foothills. These winds rarely cause problems in Denver, however in the foothill cities like Boulder and Fort Collins, winds speeds during a Chinook event can exceed 100 miles per hour. In December 1990 a wind gust of 120 mph was recorded in south Boulder, just northwest of Metro Denver.
The 30 day outlook for December 2004 is looking for temperatures and precipitation to be right about normal for the month.
Sunrise/Sunset (Denver area)