The Weather Wire
February 2008 Volume 16 Number 02
Avg High 40.1
Avg Low 15.7
Snow - 3.1"
Season Snow - 29.5"
Precipitation - 0.08"
Avg High 47.2
Avg Low 19.1
Avg Snow - 6.3"
Avg Precip - 0.49"
2007 Year in Review
The year of 2007 began very snowy as the record for consecutive days with measurable snow on the ground was in jeopardy, ending up just a couple days short of breaking the record. After the unusually snowy January the month of February was at or just below normal for many areas. March was rather tranquil and April had a heavy wet snow for higher elevations of the foothills and Palmer Divide, but lower elevations experienced only a cold rain mixing with snow at times. There was not any snowfall reported at lower elevations in May, but another heavy wet snow occurred over the Palmer Divide with just light amounts in the western foothills. The snow totals for the 2006-2007 winter season were close to double the normal for many locations. The summer months became active with thunderstorm activity from the 4th of July through September. The weather pattern dried out during the fall with below average snowfall for September, October and November. Then in December the pattern changed to a very active period resulting in above normal snowfall for the month of December, and this active weather pattern has stayed with us into this year.
The highest temperature in 2007 for the Denver area, reported at DIA was 100 degrees on the 24th of June, as well as 2nd and 17th of July. The lowest temperature was -18 on the 2nd of February. The average high for the year was 64.3 which was 0.1 degree above average, while the average low for the year was 37.0 which was 1.2 degrees above average. 54 days had highs greater than or equal to 90 which was 20 days above average. 41 days had highs less than or equal to 32 degrees which was 19 days more than normal, most likely due to the continuous snow on the ground early in the year. 139 days had lows at or below freezing which was 17 days less than normal and only 8 days with lows below zero which right at the average. The last freeze of the year was June 8th while the first freeze of fall was the 8th of October.
Precipitation for the year was slightly below normal at DIA with 14.00 compared to the 15.81 average. This amount does not necessarily represent the Front Range as a whole as many locations were at or above normal in yearly precipitation. The greatest 24 hour precipitation total was 2.65 due to a thunderstorm that moved over the DIA area on the 13th of October. Other areas within the city did not receive nearly as much as the airport reported and this data is somewhat in question as a lightning strike may have corrupted the data. The heaviest 24 hour snowfall was 7.8 on Christmas day, and the most snowfall depth measured on the ground was 14 on the 6th and 22nd of January. Many areas of the Front Range had much higher amounts of snow on the ground as storm after storm continued to pile up early in the year.
Overall, the year of 2007 was not in the top ten in any category: warmest, driest, coldest, wettest, or snowiest. Remember, this data only represents a single point at DIA while snow is still measured at the old Stapleton site. With the variable terrain of the Rocky Mountains to the west, the Palmer Divide to the south and the low lying areas along the Platte River there are many microclimates that make the Front Range of Colorado unique. Your location is likely a quite a bit different pending elevation and location, which is why the weather in this part of Colorado is difficult to predict at times, but one thing is for sure, normal only exists on paper with the reality typically being one side or the other nearly every day.
Little in the way of meaningful drought across Colorado as of early February, through some dry areas do persist across Eastern Colorado.
The map below shows forecasted temperature deviances for February 2008. As can be seen, much of Colorado is expected to have above normal temperatures for February 2008.
The map below shows forecasted precipitation deviances for February 2008. Normal precipitation is anticipated across the Western half of the state, with below normal precipitations across the Eastern plains for February 2008.
Little change in conditions is anticipated over the next 3 months, with most of the state not expected to see drought conditions.
January of 2008 was the 7th driest on record, but many other areas to the south and west faired much better with precipitation than did the official measuring site. Once again, the inconsistent location of the official measuring site makes comparison to earlier years and climatological averages difficult. Total for the month only 0.08" of liquid equivalent was measured and a mere 3.1" while other areas within the city received between 4-11". Snowfall for the season is now below average with 29.5" so far this winter season. There were not any temperature records broken in January and the average high was 3 degrees below normal. The average min was right near normal and the monthly mean was 1.3 degrees below normal. That makes two months in a row with below normal temperatures. Temperatures ranged from 63 degrees to -3 degrees for a spread of 66 degrees. The peak wind gust for the month was 46mph from the west on the 28th.
February is the driest month of the year and the 6th snowiest with only 0.49" of liquid equivalent and 6.3" of snowfall. Typically February is a rather tranquil month joining October and September as some of the quietest weather months of the year. It is a transition month from the cold of winter to the warmth of spring with the possibility of cold air outbreaks with temperatures falling well below zero and spring like weather at times. The temperature extremes range from 77 degrees to -25 degrees for a spread of 102 degrees. Some big snow storms have occurred over the years with the largest being 14.2" between the 23rd and 25th of 1912.
Sunrise/Sunset (Jan - June Denver area)
October 2007 to March 2008