The Weather Wire

 

March 2010                                                                                                            Volume 17 Number 03

 

Contents

 

 

 
·   Colorado Snowpack
 

·   Drought Monitor

 

·   February

    Summary

 

·   February Stats

 

·   March Preview

 

·   Sunrise/Sunset

 

·   Snow Totals

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February

Avg High - 39.7

Avg Low - 18.5

Snow - 5.8"

Season Snow - 46.0"

Precipitation - 0.30"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March

Avg High - 53.7

Avg Low - 25.4

Avg Snow -  11.7"

Avg Precip - 1.28"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skyview Weather 

2350 N Rocky View Rd

Castle Rock, CO 80108

 

Phone: (303) 688-9175

Fax: (303) 380-3338

 

E-mail:    

tim@skyview-wx.com

 

We’re on the Web!

http://www.skyview-wx.com/

 

Copyright 2010

Skyview Weather

Colorado Snowpack

Now that spring on the horizon and there are only a few more months of accumulating snow in the mountains let’s see how our major river drainages are doing in the snowpack department.  Since most of our water here in Colorado comes from the high country in the form of spring runoff it is important that snow falls where it supposed to, “in the mountains”.  This year along the Front Range at lower elevations from the Palmer Divide northward snowfall has been abundant with near normal to above normal snowfall currently for an entire winter season.  The mountains on the other hand vary from above normal in southern and southwestern Colorado and below normal in northern areas of the state including the South Platte River drainage.  Below is a map of current snowpack as of March 1st compared to normal.         

Parts of the North and South Platte River systems have the lowest snowpack with generally 70-80% of normal at this time.  The active southern jet due to the El Nino cycle this winter has resulted in near normal to above normal snow in the southern mountains.

With the relatively warm weather the first 5 days of the month along the I-25 corridor much of the snow on the ground that has persisted for a good part of the winter has melted with just a few lingering patches in heavily shaded areas.  Below is a snow cover map that shows the snow depths and another map below that shows the snow water equivalent.

 

This map shows the heaviest snow concentrated in the San Juan Mountains with over 100” of snow currently in areas such as Wolf Creek Pass.

 

This map shows the snow water equivalent which is more important than the actual snowfall depth when it comes to spring runoff.  There is a lot of water trapped in the mountains with some rivers like the Arkansas River peaking sometime in late June or July as it is fed from the highest peaks in the state.

There is still plenty of time to make up for the below normal snow in the South Platte River drainage as March and April can deliver some heavy, wet snows with high water content which can quickly add to snow totals.  But this year the northwest region may have some difficulty catching up as the storm track has been favoring southern and eastern areas.  Since March has come in like a lamb here in the Denver area one would think it will go out like a lion!

Maps from:

ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/CO/Snow/snow/watershed/daily/

http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/snow_model/images/full/Central_Rockies/nsm_depth/

http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/snow_model/images/full/Central_Rockies/nsm_swe/

Drought Update

With the widespread precipitation of the last several months few areas of drought remain over Colorado, though some dry areas have developed in western Colorado.

The map below shows forecasted temperature deviances for March 2010. As can be seen, normal temperatures are expected for much of the state, though the southeastern areas of the state are expected to have below normal temperatures.

The map below shows forecasted precipitation deviances for March 2010.  Virtually all of Colorado is expected to have above normal precipitation for the month..

Little in the way of drought remains in Colorado.

February Summary

Our unseasonably cold winter continues through February with average highs more than 7 degrees below normal and 8 days during the month where the maximum temperature remained below freezing.  Monthly low temperatures were near normal resulting in a monthly mean temperature of 29.1 degrees which is 4.1 degrees below normal.  There was not any heavy snowfall during the month but there were 9 days with measurable snowfall totaling 5.8" at DIA which is 0.5" below normal.  This snow amount does not represent the Denver Metro area very well as many other locations received between 7-17" for the month.  Total precipitation was also low at DIA with 0.30" for the month, 0.19" below normal and now 0.63" below normal for the year.         

February Stats

TEMPERATURE (IN DEGREES F)

 

 

 

 

 

 

AVERAGE MAX

39.7

NORMAL

47.2

DEPARTURE

-7.5

AVERAGE MIN

18.5

NORMAL

19.1

DEPARTURE

-0.6

MONTHLY MEAN

29.1

NORMAL

33.2

DEPARTURE

-4.1

HIGHEST

52 on the 27th

LOWEST

-1 on the 9th

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAYS WITH MAX 90 OR ABOVE

0

NORMAL

0

DAYS WITH MAX 32 OR BELOW

8

NORMAL

4.3

DAYS WITH MIN 32 OR BELOW

28

NORMAL

26

DAYS WITH MIN ZERO OR BELOW

1

NORMAL

0.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEMPERATURE RECORDS

 

No new temperature records broken or tied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEATING DEGREE DAYS

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONTHLY TOTAL

999

NORMAL

892

DEPARTURE

107

SEASONAL TOTAL

4807

NORMAL

4489

DEPARTURE

318

 

 

 

 

 

 

COOLING DEGREE DAYS

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONTHLY TOTAL

0

NORMAL

0

DEPARTURE

0

YEARLY TOTAL

0

NORMAL

0

DEPARTURE

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRECIPITATION (IN INCHES)

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONTHLY TOTAL

0.30

NORMAL

0.49

DEPARTURE

-0.19

YEARLY TOTAL

0.37

NORMAL

1.00

DEPARTURE

-0.63

GREATEST IN 24 HOURS

0.10" on 2/7 to 2/8

DAYS WITH MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION

9

 

 

 

 

 

SNOWFALL (IN INCHES)

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONTHLY TOTAL

5.8

NORMAL

6.3

DEPARTURE

-0.5

SEASONAL TOTAL

46.0

NORMAL

41.9

DEPARTURE

4.1

GREATEST IN 24 HOURS

1.7" on the 20-21st

GREATEST DEPTH

NA

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIND (IN MILES PER HOUR)

 

 

 

 

 

 

AVERAGE SPEED

7.6mph from the SSW

PEAK WIND GUST

35mph from the SSW on the 1st

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS WEATHER

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH THUNDERSTORMS

0

NORMAL

0

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH HEAVY FOG

4

NORMAL

NA

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH HAIL

0

 

 

PERCENT OF SUNSHINE

NA

NORMAL

70%

March Preview

The snowy month of March is finally upon us, but will it live up to its reputation as Colorado's snowiest month?  As of March 8th we have had a near miss with a powerful spring storm, but no meaningful snow has fallen so far for most locations.  The month is not over though and if you remember last year March of 2009 there was some active weather towards the end of the month into April which basically saved our winter season as far as snow and precipitation went.  Some heavy spring snow is still forecast for this month, but it will likely have to wait for the last couple weeks as the current weather pattern will bring weather disturbances through, but they are relatively fast moving and the "big" snows require a slow moving low pressure system, sometimes cut off from the northern jet stream.  One thing is for certain and that is that March will bring frequent weather changes with rain, wind, snow, sun and blizzards.  There is even some lightning possible during the month of March as the warmth of spring and the cold of winter battle it out.      

DENVER'S NOVEMBER CLIMATOLOGICALLY NORMAL

(NORMAL PERIOD 1971-2000)

 

 

TEMPERATURE

 

 

 

AVERAGE HIGH

53.7

AVERAGE LOW

25.4

MONTHLY MEAN

39.6

DAYS WITH HIGH 90 OR ABOVE

0

DAYS WITH HIGH 32 OR BELOW

3

DAYS WITH LOW 32 OR BELOW

24

DAYS WITH LOWS ZERO OR BELOW

1

 

 

PRECIPITATION

 

 

 

MONTHLY MEAN

1.28"

DAYS WITH MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION

9

AVERAGE SNOWFALL IN INCHES

11.7"

DAYS WITH 1.0 INCH OF SNOW OR MORE

4

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS AVERAGES

 

 

 

HEATING DEGREE DAYS

788

COOLING DEGREE DAYS

0

WIND SPEED (MPH)

9.7mph

WIND DIRECTION

South

DAYS WITH THUNDERSTORMS

Less than 1

DAYS WITH DENSE FOG

1

PERCENT OF SUNSHINE POSSIBLE

69%

 

 

EXTREMES

 

 

 

RECORD HIGH

84 on 3/26/1971

RECORD LOW

-11 on 3/28/1886

WARMEST

50.4 in 1910

COLDEST

26.4 in 1912

WETTEST

4.56" in 1983

DRIEST

0.11" in 1908

SNOWIEST

35.2" in 2003

LEAST SNOWIEST

0.3" in 1883
 

Sunrise/Sunset (Jan - June Denver area)

             JAN              FEB               MAR              APR              MAY              JUN
_______________________________________________________________________________
      sr - ss     sr - ss     sr - ss     sr - ss     sr - ss     sr - ss 
 01  0721-0446 | 0707-0518 | 0632-0550 | 0544-0623 | 0600-0753 | 0534-0821  01
 02  0721-0447 | 0706-0519 | 0631-0551 | 0542-0624 | 0559-0754 | 0533-0822  02
 03  0721-0448 | 0705-0520 | 0629-0553 | 0540-0625 | 0558-0755 | 0533-0822  03
 04  0721-0448 | 0704-0522 | 0628-0554 | 0639-0726 | 0556-0756 | 0533-0823  04
 
 05  0721-0449 | 0703-0523 | 0626-0555 | 0637-0727 | 0555-0757 | 0532-0824  05
 06  0721-0450 | 0702-0524 | 0625-0556 | 0636-0728 | 0554-0758 | 0532-0824  06
 07  0721-0451 | 0701-0525 | 0623-0557 | 0634-0729 | 0553-0759 | 0532-0825  07
 08  0720-0452 | 0700-0526 | 0622-0558 | 0633-0730 | 0552-0800 | 0532-0825  08
 
 09  0720-0453 | 0659-0527 | 0620-0559 | 0631-0731 | 0551-0801 | 0531-0826  09
 10  0720-0454 | 0658-0529 | 0619-0600 | 0630-0732 | 0550-0802 | 0531-0827  10
 11  0720-0455 | 0657-0530 | 0617-0601 | 0628-0733 | 0549-0803 | 0531-0827  11
 12  0720-0456 | 0655-0531 | 0616-0602 | 0626-0734 | 0548-0804 | 0531-0828  12
 
 13  0719-0457 | 0654-0532 | 0614-0603 | 0625-0735 | 0547-0805 | 0531-0828  13
 14  0719-0458 | 0653-0533 | 0612-0604 | 0623-0736 | 0546-0806 | 0531-0828  14
 15  0719-0459 | 0652-0535 | 0611-0605 | 0622-0737 | 0545-0806 | 0531-0829  15
 16  0718-0501 | 0650-0536 | 0609-0606 | 0620-0738 | 0544-0807 | 0531-0829  16
 
 17  0718-0501 | 0649-0537 | 0608-0607 | 0619-0739 | 0543-0808 | 0531-0830  17
 18  0717-0502 | 0648-0538 | 0606-0608 | 0618-0740 | 0542-0809 | 0531-0830  18
 19  0717-0503 | 0647-0539 | 0604-0609 | 0616-0741 | 0542-0810 | 0531-0830  19
 20  0716-0504 | 0645-0540 | 0603-0610 | 0615-0742 | 0541-0811 | 0532-0830  20
 
 21  0716-0505 | 0644-0541 | 0601-0612 | 0613-0743 | 0540-0812 | 0532-0831  21
 22  0715-0506 | 0642-0543 | 0600-0613 | 0612-0744 | 0539-0813 | 0532-0831  22
 23  0714-0507 | 0641-0544 | 0558-0614 | 0611-0745 | 0539-0814 | 0532-0831  23
 24  0714-0509 | 0640-0545 | 0556-0615 | 0609-0746 | 0538-0815 | 0533-0831  24
 
 25  0713-0510 | 0638-0546 | 0555-0616 | 0608-0747 | 0537-0815 | 0533-0831  25
 26  0712-0511 | 0637-0547 | 0553-0617 | 0606-0748 | 0537-0816 | 0533-0831  26
 27  0712-0512 | 0635-0548 | 0552-0618 | 0605-0749 | 0536-0817 | 0534-0832  27
 28  0711-0513 | 0634-0549 | 0550-0619 | 0604-0750 | 0536-0818 | 0534-0832  28
 
 29  0710-0514 |                     | 0548-0620 | 0603-0751 | 0535-0819 | 0534-0832  29
 30  0709-0516 |                     | 0547-0621 | 0601-0752 | 0535-0819 | 0535-0831  30
 31  0708-0517 |                     | 0545-0622 |                      | 0534-0820 |                       31


Snowfall

Sept 2009 to Apr 2010

City

Sept-Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar Apr

Seasonal Totals

Aurora (Central)

20.2 9.3 13.8 1.8 12.4     57.5
Brighton 18.4 8.3 12.4 3.1 7.8     50.0
Broomfield 27.2 11.8 17.3 2.6 15.0     73.9

Castle Rock 4 NE

27.5 8.7 12.5 0.8 12.0     61.5

Colorado Sprgs Airport

1.8 1.5 9.4 1.9 9.7     24.3
Denver DIA 17.2 9.3 11.1 2.6 5.8     46.0

Denver Downtown

21.4 9.0 16.1 2.8 14.2     63.5

Golden

28.3 12.9 21.7 5.7 19.9     88.5

Fort Collins

25.5 6.6 19.5 3.3 12.4     67.3

Highlands Ranch

34.4 9.7 15.4 1.6 12.8     73.9

Lakewood

20.5 9.0 12.4 3.1 15.7     60.7

Littleton

25.9 12.2 16.0 2.3 15.9     72.3

Parker

22.5 8.2 12.8 1.0 8.7     53.2

Sedalia - Hwy 67

30.0 10.0 10.5 1.3 13.7     65.5

Thornton

22.8 8.3 16.6 1.5 11.2     60.4

Westminster

21.6 13.0 15.2 2.1 16.5     68.4

Wheatridge

28.8 10.9 15.6 3.4 19.3     78.0