WFO Denver/Boulder

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           NATIONAL WESTERN STOCK SHOW WEATHER STATISTICS
                         (1906-2004)
I PREFACE

The purpose of this publication is to analyze the notion from both
the media and private citizen that it is always cold and snowy during
the National Western Stock Show. This study began as a climatology
paper while I was a student at Metrolpolitan State College of Denver.
Since then, the usefulness of the information to the public and media
has propelled me to further analyze the data and provide a yearly
update to the statistics at the completion of each yearly stock show
event.

II INTRODUCTION

Every January since 1906 the National Western Stock Show comes to town.
Several days before the stock show approaches questions are brought up
by citizens and the media of the notion that its always cold and snowy
during the stock show. A look at stock show statistics from 1906-2004
reveals a different scenario. Lets take a look at the numbers.

The first four years the stock show was held (1906-1910) revealed that
the average temperature during the event was 43.6 degrees, 12.9 degrees
above normal for that time of year.  In fact, 1909 was the warmest stock
show on record with a departure from normal of 16.0 degrees.

Cold spells were few and far between. Extreme departures from normal only
lasted a year or two at a time. From 1962-1963 the average temperature was
8.6 degrees, 20.4 degrees below normal. This was the coldest consecutive
stretch on record.

Comparing the 30 year climatological temperatures to the observed tempera-
tures for the period 1971-2000 shows


As far as snowfall is concerned, lets look at the past 34 years of data
(1971-2004) and compare that to the 30 year average (1971-2000). Two
significant snowstorms occurred, one in 1992 and another in 1987. These
two storms combined for 36.6 inches of snow.


To summarize, the mean temperature during the National Western Stock Show
from 1906-2004 is 31.7 degrees. The normal during the same period is 29.1
degrees, giving a departure from normal of +2.6 degrees. This indicates
that the mean temperature is warmer than normal during the National Western
Stock Show, disproving the perception that its always cold.  But it also
depends on your perspective..."Since 31.7 degrees is below freezing...it
would then depend on if you think below freezing is cold or not!"


Below is a chart of yearly observed and climatological normal temperatures
and their departure from normal during the National Western Stock Show
from 1906 through 2004.

Note: Temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit and precipitation is in inches.

Year   Avg  Avg         Normal Normal Normal  Departure  Total    Total
      High  Low   Mean   High   Low    Mean   From Norm  Snowfall Precip

2004  52.6  19.4  36.0   43.1   15.1   29.1   + 6.9       1.3      0.09 
2003  50.3  17.9  34.1   43.2   15.1   29.2   + 4.9      Trace     Trace          
2002  44.8  17.0  30.9   43.3   15.2   29.3   + 1.6       3.6      0.18
2001  47.1  16.3  31.7   43.0   14.9   29.0   + 2.7       2.7      0.14 
2000  54.4  23.3  38.9   43.0   15.0   29.0   + 9.9       0.0      0.00 

1999  52.6  25.3  39.0   43.1   15.0   29.1   +  9.9      2.6      0.20 
1998  45.4  20.6  33.0   43.1   15.1   29.1   +  3.9     Trace     Trace
1997  36.5  11.9  24.2   43.2   15.1   29.2   +  5.0      2.1      0.08
1996  51.1  17.7  34.4   43.0   14.9   29.0   +  5.4      3.5      0.03 
1995  49.9  23.5  36.7   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  7.7     Trace    Trace
1994  54.4  23.1  38.8   43.1   15.0   29.1   +  9.7      0.5     0.05 
1993  31.5  10.0  20.8   43.0   14.9   29.0   -  8.2      2.0     0.11 
1992  39.5  12.3  25.9   43.0   14.9   29.0   -  3.1     22.8     1.10 
1991  46.5  18.6  32.6   43.0   14.9   29.0   +  3.6      7.8     0.42 
1990  49.5  24.3  36.9   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  7.9      8.2     0.72  

1989  48.5  18.5  33.5   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  4.5      2.9     0.16 
1988  38.5  16.0  27.3   43.1   15.0   29.1   -  1.8      4.0     0.30 
1987  35.5  10.9  23.2   43.2   15.1   29.2   -  6.0     13.8     0.45 
1986  58.7  27.8  43.3   43.0   15.0   29.0   + 14.3      0.0     0.00 
1985  41.3  12.8  27.1   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  1.9      2.3     0.11 
1984  25.3   3.5  14.4   43.0   15.0   29.0   - 14.6      3.1     0.15 
1983  38.2  20.7  29.5   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  0.5      0.3     0.05 
1982  44.7  18.4  31.6   43.1   15.0   29.1   +  2.5      0.2     0.02 
1981  51.8  24.5  38.2   43.2   15.1   29.2   +  9.0      1.8     0.10 
1980  44.6  25.2  34.9   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  5.9      5.6     0.34 

1979  40.3  14.3  27.3   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  1.7      2.2     0.09 
1978  35.1  12.0  23.6   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  5.4      3.0     0.17 
1977  49.2  17.8  33.5   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  4.5      1.7     0.12 
1976  50.9  22.1  36.5   43.2   15.1   29.2   +  7.3      2.7     0.17 
1975  48.3  16.4  32.4   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  3.4      0.3     0.03 
1974  47.7  21.0  34.4   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  5.4      0.1     0.39 
1973  53.2  29.1  41.2   43.0   15.0   29.0   + 12.2      7.5     0.92 
1972  51.0  21.6  36.3   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  7.3      0.0     0.00 
1971  54.8  25.6  40.2   43.1   15.0   29.1   + 11.1      0.0     0.06 
1970  54.2  24.2  39.2   43.2   15.1   29.2   + 10.0      0.0     0.00 

1969  51.7  21.0  36.4   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  7.4      0.0     0.00 
1968  48.9  18.6  33.8   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  4.8      0.0     0.00 
1967  51.1  16.6  33.9   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  4.9      6.4     0.47 
1966  33.1   6.8  20.0   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  7.0      1.9     0.13 
1965  52.2  24.8  38.5   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  9.5      0.0     0.00 
1964  39.2   8.7  24.0   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  5.0      1.3     0.13 
1963  21.3  -5.3   8.0   43.0   15.0   29.0   - 21.0      1.0     0.09 
1962  21.8  -3.4   9.2   43.0   15.0   29.0   - 19.8      2.9     0.23 
1961  47.2  25.2  36.2   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  7.2      0.1     0.01 
1960  36.4  16.1  26.3   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  2.7      8.4     0.70 

1959  43.3  16.6  30.0   43.1   15.0   29.1   +  0.9      2.8     0.21
1958  48.4  21.4  34.9   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  5.9      3.2     0.33 
1957  44.9  14.7  29.8   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  0.8      0.7     0.03 
1956  40.8  19.3  30.1   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  1.1      0.3     0.03 
1955  33.3  12.4  22.9   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  6.1      0.2     0.02 
1954  53.4  20.0  36.7   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  7.7      0.3     0.01  
1953  53.1  27.3  40.2   43.1   15.0   29.1   + 11.1      0.0     0.00 
1952  53.3  29.2  41.3   43.0   15.0   29.0   + 12.3      0.0     0.00 
1951  45.8  23.4  34.6   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  5.6      0.7     0.05 
1950  54.1  19.0  36.6   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  7.6      0.3     0.02 

1949  31.2   9.9  20.6   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  8.4      0.0     0.00 
1948  36.3  16.3  26.3   43.1   15.0   29.1   -  2.8     11.5     0.90 
1947  39.3  20.8  30.1   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  1.1      1.5     0.03 
1946  46.9  20.8  33.9   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  4.9      4.2     0.22 
1945  39.2  24.6  31.9   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  2.9      4.1     0.24 
1944  53.8  29.8  41.8   43.0   15.0   29.0   + 12.8      0.0     0.00 
1943  41.6  16.9  29.3   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  0.3      3.2     0.26 
1942  48.3  27.4  37.9   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  8.9      0.0     0.00 
1941  46.5  25.8  36.2   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  7.2      0.0     0.00 
1940  32.2   9.1  20.7   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  8.3      4.9     0.22 

1939  39.3  17.5  28.4   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  0.6      0.9     0.04 
1938  50.9  31.9  41.4   43.0   15.0   29.0   + 12.4      1.0     0.09 
1937  24.0   4.1  14.1   43.0   15.0   29.0   - 12.1      3.0     0.15 
1936  42.4  20.6  31.5   43.3   15.1   29.2   +  2.3      1.3     0.14 
1935  43.3  21.1  32.2   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  3.2      0.0     0.03 
1934  52.3  29.9  41.1   43.0   15.0   29.0   + 12.1      0.0     0.00 
1933  45.6  23.8  34.7   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  5.7      0.0     0.00 
1932  36.0  18.4  27.2   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  1.8      2.6     0.12 
1931  47.3  25.5  36.4   43.1   15.0   29.1   +  7.3      0.0     0.00 
1930  20.5  -2.6   9.0   43.3   15.1   29.2   - 20.2      0.8     0.02 

1929  43.9  24.0  34.0   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  5.0      0.0     0.00
1928  41.3  22.3  31.8   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  2.8      0.1     0.02 
1927  40.6  16.8  28.7   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  0.3      0.5     0.04 
1926  33.1  14.1  23.6   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  5.4      2.1     0.15 
1925  50.8  26.3  38.6   43.1   15.0   29.1   +  9.5      0.0     0.00 
1924  43.5  20.5  32.0   43.4   15.3   29.4   +  2.6      1.0    Missing
1923  55.5  28.1  41.8   43.0   15.0   29.0   + 12.8      0.0     0.00 
1922  32.5   9.5  21.0   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  8.0      1.8     0.07 
1921  50.9  28.5  39.7   43.0   15.0   29.0   + 10.7      0.0     0.00 
1920  48.9  29.4  39.2   43.1   15.0   29.1   + 10.0      0.0     0.00 

1919  49.6  28.5  39.1   43.3   15.1   29.2   +  9.9      0.0     0.00
1918  39.6  15.3  27.5   43.4   15.3   29.4   -  1.9      3.4     0.29 
1917  40.7  13.8  27.3   43.7   15.5   29.6   -  2.3      0.0     0.00 
1916  30.9   8.5  19.7   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  9.3      4.7     0.27 
1915  39.5  14.0  26.8   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  2.2      1.0     0.04 
1914  47.7  27.7  37.7   43.2   15.0   29.1   +  8.6      0.1     0.01 
1913  47.3  23.8  35.6   43.3   15.2   29.3   +  6.3      1.0    Missing
1912  47.7  23.2  35.5   43.0   15.0   29.0   +  6.5      0.4     0.02 
1911  53.7  26.7  40.2   43.0   15.0   29.0   + 11.2      1.6     0.11 
1910  50.8  26.8  38.8   43.0   15.0   29.0   -  9.8      0.0     0.00 

1909  54.2  35.7  45.0   43.0   15.0   29.0   + 16.0      0.0     0.03
1908  48.2  24.5  36.4   43.3   15.2   29.3   + 14.0      0.0     0.00 
1907  43.3  17.8  30.6   43.5   15.3   29.4   + 14.1      3.7     0.19 
1906  54.3  21.4  37.9   44.6   16.6   30.6   +  7.3      0.6    Missing

Mean observed high...44.2  Mean normal high .....43.1  Departure...+ 1.1 
Mean observed low....19.3  Mean normal low.......15.1  Departure...+ 4.2
Mean observed........31.8  Mean normal average...29.1  Departure...+ 2.7 

Top 10 coldest stock show years       Top 10 warmest stock show years
     (mean temperature)                     (mean temperature)

1.   1963 (8.0 degrees)                   1909             (45.0 degrees)
2.   1930 (9.0 degrees)                   1986             (43.3 degrees)
3.   1962 (9.2 degrees)                   1923, 1944       (41.8 degrees)
4.   1937 (14.1 degrees)                  1938             (41.4 degrees)
5.   1984 (14.4 degrees)                  1952             (41.3 degrees)
6.   1916 (19.7 degrees)                  1973             (41.2 degrees)
7.   1949 (20.6 degrees)                  1934             (41.1 degrees)
8.   1940 (20.7 degrees)                  1911, 1953, 1971 (40.2 degrees)
9.   1993 (20.8 degrees)                  1921             (39.7 degrees)
10.  1955 (22.9 degrees)                  1920, 1970       (39.2 degrees)

Mean observed snowfall (1906-2004)............................................   2.0 inches
Mean observed snowfall (1971-2004)............................................   3.2 inches
Mean normal snowfall (1971-2004) based on 30 year average (1971-2000).........   3.0 inches
Mean snowfall departure (1971-2004) based on 30 year average (1971-2000)......  +0.2 inch

Mean observed precipitation (1906-2004).......................................   0.13 inch 
Mean observed precipitation (1971-2004).......................................   0.20 inch 
Mean observed precipitation (1971-2004) based on 30 year average (1971-2000)..   0.23 inch 
Mean precipitation departure (1971-2004) based on 30 year average (1971-2000).  -0.03 inch 

             Top 10 snowiest stock show years

                1.   1992 (22.8 inches)
                2.   1987 (13.8 inches)
                3.   1948 (11.5 inches)
                4.   1960 ( 8.4 inches)
                5.   1990 ( 8.2 inches)
                6.   1991 ( 7.8 inches)
                7.   1973 ( 7.5 inches)
                8.   1967 ( 6.4 inches)
                9.   1980 ( 5.6 inches)
               10.   1940 ( 4.9 inches)

David Thede
Meteorologist - Senior Forecaster
National Weather Service Goodland, KS

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