Winter 2013-14 Climate Review and Spring Preview

Meteorological Winter of 2014 (December of 2013 through February of 2014) was one for the record books across portions of the central and eastern United States. However, across much of south central and southeast Colorado, the winter as a whole was generally at or slightly below normal for both temperatures and precipitation. Notable exceptions are across southwestern Colorado, which saw above normal temperatures and well below normal precipitation, along with portions of the central mountains, which saw well above normal precipitation. The following graphics depict departures from normal values for both temperature and precipitation across the state for the Winter Season of 2014.

In Alamosa, the average temperature through the Winter of 2014 was 15.5 degrees. This is 3.5 degrees below the seasonal average and makes the Winter of 2014 the 18th coldest on record in Alamosa, though well above the average winter temperature of 7.0 degrees recorded through the Winter of 1992. Last winter, the average temperature was 12.4 degrees. However, this does not tell the whole story, as December 2013 and January 2014 were well below normal temperature wise in Alamosa, as early season snow pack kept a cold airmass trapped in the valley, before a much warmer than normal February helped to temper the cold start to the winter. Alamosa only recorded 0.26 inches of precipitation through the Winter of 2014. This is 0.58 inches below normal and makes the Winter of 2014 tied with the Winter of 1951 as the 10th driest on record, though well above the 0.08 inches recorded through the Winter of 1999. Alamosa also tallied 6.5 inches of snow throughout the winter season. This is 5.8 inches below normal and makes the Winter of 2014 the 12th least snowiest on record, though well ahead of the 1.6 inches of snow recorded through the Winter of 1935. Again, this does not tell the whole story, as November of 2013 was the wettest and 3rd snowiest November on record, with 1.63 inches of precipitation and 18.1 inches of snow tallied through the month.

In Colorado Springs, the average temperature through the Winter of 2014 was 30.1 degrees, which is 0.8 degrees below the seasonal average, but well above the 22.8 degrees recorded through the Winter of 1899. Last year, the average temperature throughout the winter was 30.2 degrees. Colorado Springs recorded 0.96 inches of precipitation and 19.1 inches of snow throughout the winter, which is 0.04 inches below normal and 2.9 inches above normal, respectively. Much of this precipitation (0.67 inches and 13.6 inches of snow) was tallied in January, which was the 9th wettest and 3rd snowiest January on record in Colorado Springs. 

In Pueblo, the average temperature through the Winter of 2014 was 31.2 degrees, which is 0.3 degrees below the seasonal average, but well above the 23.9 degrees recorded through the Winter of 1899. Last year, the average temperature throughout the winter was 30.4 degrees. Pueblo recorded 0.76 inches of precipitation and 14.9 inches of snow throughout the winter, which is 0.23 inches and 0.9 inches below normal, respectively.

Below is the Climate Prediction Center's temperature and precipitation outlook for rest of March, April and May, which gives equal chances for above, below and near normal temperatures and precipitation across the area, save a slight tilt to above normal temperatures across southwestern Colorado, with ENSO neutral conditions persisting through the Spring.  



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