The Weather Wire
August 2008 Volume 16 Number 08
Avg High - 93.7
Avg Low - 61.5
Snow - 0.0"
Season Snow - 46.3"
Precipitation - 0.24"
Avg High - 86.0
Avg Low - 57.4
Avg Snow - 0.0"
Avg Precip - 1.82"
August Precipitation Update
The first 10 days of August have been very active with numerous showers and thunderstorms all along the Front Range. The months leading up to this point have been resulted in a deficit of 5.97" of precipitation up to August 1st in Denver. The average monthly rainfall for August is 1.82" and many areas have already nearly reached or exceeded this amount. Lets look back at the summer so far and see where we stand to date:
Easily noticed are the exceptionally dry months of June and July with less than 1.00" reported for the two months combined. For August we have already exceeded monthly averages and are beginning to cut into the deficit. Denver is experiencing very dry conditions, but nothing like what Colorado Springs has experienced:
For the year so far Colorado Springs has only received 4.22" of precipitation compared to 12.21" on average. That is an incredible 7.99" below normal. The 0.29" observed in July 2008 was the driest ever recorded. There is too large of a deficit to overcome at many locations along the Front Range to catch up to normal amounts. It is most certain that 2008 will be a below average year for precipitation and could rank in the top ten for driest years on record at both Colorado Springs and Denver.
Since August has been very active up to this point with many areas receiving very heavy rainfall I thought it would be nice to see how much precipitation has fallen at certain locations along the I-25 corridor up to date:
There is great variation from location to location which is common in Colorado, but many areas have experienced the heaviest rainfall of the thunderstorm season in just the past week and a half. Numerous flash flood watches and warnings have been issued and flooding has occurred, most recently in southeast Denver and areas of Arapahoe County where 3.00-4.00" of rain has fallen already this month. The shower and thunderstorm activity typically dies down towards the end of August so this last gasp of activity will be too little too late to make up for a whole summer of dryness.
Some areas of drought are beginning to appear once again across much of eastern Colorado.
The map below shows forecasted temperature deviances for August 2008. As can be seen, it is expected that virtually all of Colorado to have normal temperatures for the month of August 2008.
The map below shows forecasted precipitation deviances for August 2008. Normal precipitation is anticipated most of Colorado, though far southern Colorado is expected to have above normal precipitation for August 2008.
Drought conditions are expected to improve across eastern Colorado over the next 3 months, with no change expected western areas of Colorado.
During the month of July 2008 the all time 90 degree streak of 18 consecutive days was broken with 19 days on the 31st, but the streak continued into August and eventually ended at 26 days shattering the old record. Surprisingly there were not any single day records, but July 2008 ended up being the 3rd warmest July in Denver history. Temperatures ranged from 100 to 51 with a spread of only 49 degrees which is quite a small range compared to many other months of the year. The median temperatures was 77.6 degrees, 4.2 degrees warmer than the average of 73.4. To sum it up July was hot and dry with a measly 0.24" of precipitation for the month. Normal July precipitation is 2.16", for a monthly deficit of 1.92". This made July 2008 the 3rd direst on record and the 9th month in a row of below normal precipitation. For the year only 3.28" of precipitation has been measured which in nearly 6.00" below normal. The same storm continues to the south as Colorado Springs recorded the driest July ever with 0.29" of precipitation.
The weather pattern in August is similar to the rest of the summer months but severe weather decreases significantly towards the last couple weeks in the month. High temperatures begin to decline as sunlight is lost to shorter days. The occurrence of severe weather such as large damaging hail and tornadoes decreases considerably compared to the months of June and July. The typical air mass aloft over Denver is nearly as warm as earlier in the summer, but air at the surface is typically a bit cooler resulting in less intense thunderstorms. Tornadoes and large hail are relatively rare especially after the middle of August, but storm motion is typically slow with light steering winds resulting in August thunderstorms likely producing heavy rainfall as compared to large hail. By late in the month a fall like cold front can occur, but no snow has ever been recorded at Denver.
Sunrise/Sunset (Jul - December Denver area)
May 2008 to September 2008