The Weather Wire
February 2006 Volume 14 Number 2
Avg High 51.6
Avg Low 23.2
Snow - 3.3"
Season Snow - 18.0"
Precipitation - 0.28"
Avg High 47.2
Avg Low 19.1
Avg Snow - 6.3"
Avg Precip - 0.49"
Wet Start to Winter but... |
After a rather wet start to our winter season things have dried out considerably for December and January. These two months featured plenty of windy dry and mild days. The overall pattern for these two month’s, basically remained unchanged with Pacific storms hitting the Northwest hard with heavy rains and heavy snow. Our high country has also benefited from these storms and the northern and central mountains are having a near record year for snowfall. This is good news for the Front Range since most of the water used along the Front Range comes from the winter snowmelt.
Data collected at the Downtown City Office from 1872-December 1949, then at the Stapleton Airport Office from January 1950-February 1995, then at Denver International Airport from March 1995-Present.
The winter season started strong with an early branch breaking snowstorm. This first snow was a little odd in that areas or west Denver received more rain than snow and snow totals were not as impressive as DIA who reported 9.6”. Areas of Aurora saw accumulations of 12” or more. As a whole the metro area saw between 2 and 3 inches of liquid equivalent. Were it not for this first early storm we would be far below average for the winter season, as we have had below average precipitation since. November was much warmer than average and is usually one of our snowiest months. This year we were roughly 50% of average for November in the precipitation department, but only received 10% of our monthly average snowfall. Dry weather continued through December where 0.35” of liquid were observed compared to 0.63” which is average. Only 4.1 inches of snow reported versus 8.7 inches being the average for December. January has also been very warm and relatively dry as well, for the month 0.28” of precipitation has been reported and 3.6” of snow compared with 0.51” and 7.7” being average. Much warmer temperatures than average, and plenty of windy days has helped evaporate available surface moisture which can only compound the problem with the lack of significant precipitation we have had recently.
Totals for the winter season (Oct. 1st - Jan 31st) are as follows:
As you can see we are above average in precipitation for the winter season, but that is a little misleading. Much of the precipitation fell in one storm and we have been relatively warm and dry since. Even with the first big snow we are well below average for snowfall and this number is also misleading because many areas of town did not receive as much precipitation in the form of snow as DIA. The upside is that two of our snowiest months are on the way. March and April are notorious for big snows and this year we will certainly need these months to prove productive for precipitation, or that drought word will be floating around again.
We will need to keep our fingers crossed on this. For now the latest 10 and 30 days outlooks that cover the month of February continue a mild and dry pattern for eastern Colorado.
Skyview Offers Safety Classes
As we discussed in last months newsletter, risk management is a critical component of each organization. One component is education, and Skyview Weather is proud to announce educational classes intended to promote weather awareness and increased safety. At this time, the following classes are available.
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Basic Weather Safety and Severe Weather Spotting - This 3 hour class begins with basic weather safety, including flash flood safety, lightning safety, and tornado safety as well as reviewing NWS products, with specific emphasis on watches and warnings. Basic weather concepts and basic weather spotting is included, with emphasis on thunderstorm features.
Basic Weather Safety for Coaches - This 60-90 minute safety oriented class is similar to Basic Weather Safety, but designed for coaches and other administrators that must determine whether to suspend or cancel outdoor sports events. Heavy emphasis on lightning safety, as well as severe thunderstorm safety is presented. A review of NWS publicly disseminated products, including watches and warnings, is included. Basic weather safety, including flash flood safety, lightning safety, and tornado safety is discussed.
Extended Weather Safety and Spotting - As with the above classes, this all day class begins with basic weather safety, including flash flood safety, lightning safety, and tornado safety as well as reviewing NWS products, with specific emphasis on watches and warnings. Basic weather concepts and definitions are discussed, with extensive time on the role of spotters, and key spotting features of developing severe storms. Video presentations are included as well.
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Getting the most from Skyview Weather ... Client-Skyview interaction - This 2 hour class focuses on how existing clients of Skyview Weather can get the most from Skyview Weathers extensive services. A review of what Skyview offers, product delivery, and Skyview Weather terms is presented.
All classes are presented using PowerPoint, and include handouts. Questions are always welcome, and encourage.. Selected classes include video as well. Please contact Skyview Weather for scheduling and pricing information. As always, you can reach us at 303-688-9175 or via email at email@example.com .
Online Forecasts Available
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!
Some increase in drought conditions across Colorado was noted during January 2006, primarily over Eastern portions of the state.
The map below shows forecasted temperature deviances for February 2006. As can be seen, below normal temperatures are expected for northwestern Colorado, with the remainder of the state seeing normal temperatures for February 2006.
The map below shows forecasted precipitation deviances for February 2006. Normal or near normal precipitation is expected for Colorado for February 2006.
As can be seen in the below map, most of the state has come out of the widespread drought conditions of a year ago, though some areas of drought are developing across southern and southeastern portions of the state.
The average temperature for January 2006 was 8.2 degrees above normal, but only finished as the 8th warmest Denver January in Denver weather history. The warmest January occurred in 1986 with a 40.3 average for the month. Temperatures during the month ranged from a record tying 69 degrees on the 7th tying the record last set in 1969. The monthly low was 9 degrees on the 16th. Only one other tied record for the month, 66 degrees on the 6th tying the record set in 1903.
28 days had either partly cloudy or fair weather conditions which accounted for the only 3 days of measurable precipitation. The total for the month was 0.28 inches which was 0.23 inch below normal. Stapleton recorded 2 days with snow with a total of 3.3 inches which was 4.4 below normal.
Overall another mild and dry month for Denver.
February has a reputation as a rather grim month in many parts of the country. However, that is not usually the case in Denver. Even though it may not be grim, it is still winter with below freezing temperatures occurring almost every night and on average, 6.3 inches of snow is recorded during the month. February is Denver’s 6th snowiest month. February stands out as having relatively uneventful weather and joins September and October for the quiet months of the year. February is a transitional month between occasional severe cold of mid-winter and the spring storms that are common along the Front Range.
The mild weather in February often gives Denver residents a false sense of spring. About the time we get in that spring mood the big snowstorms of March and April arrive with more winter like weather. Just a few years back the St. Patrick’s Day blizzard lasted for 3 days and dropped 2-4 feet of heavy wet snow along the Front Range.
Sunrise/Sunset (Denver area)
October 2005 to April 2006