December Climate Review and January Preview

December of 2014 was another month of temperature extremes across south central and southeast Colorado, with at to well above seasonal temperatures experienced through the first 25 days of the month. A strong arctic air mass then invaded eastern Colorado, owning to well below seasonal temperatures experienced across the southeast plains and at or slightly cooler than normal temperatures across south central Colorado through the last week of the year.  As for precipitation, near to slightly below normal precipitation was recorded across most of south central and southeast Colorado for the month of December, save areas along the Continental Divide and portions of the far southeast plains, which saw above normal precipitation for the month as a whole. The following graphics indicate preliminary departures from normal for both temperatures and precipitation across the state over the past month.

 

The average temperature in Colorado Springs for the month of December was 31.5 degrees, which is 1.7 degrees above normal. Of note, the average temperature in Colorado Springs through the first 25 days of the month was running nearly 6 degrees above normal, before an arctic air mass became entrenched across eastern Colorado through the last week of the year. Colorado Springs recorded 0.16 inches of precipitation and 3.7 inches of snow through out December, which is 0.18 inches and 2.0 inches below normal, respectively. 

The average temperature in Pueblo for the month of December was 30.3 degrees, which is 0.2 degrees above normal.  Of note, the average temperature in Pueblo through the first 25 days of the month was running 4 degrees above normal, before an arctic air mass became entrenched across eastern Colorado through the last week of the year. Pueblo recorded 0.24 inches of precipitation and 3.2 inches of snow through out December, which is 0.14 inches and 1.8 inches below normal, respectively. 

The average temperature in Alamosa for the month of December was 22.5 degrees. This is 4.6 degrees above normal and makes December of 2014 the 18th warmest December on record in Alamosa. This, however, remains well behind the warmest average temperature of 28.1 degrees recorded in December of 1980.  Alamosa recorded 0.21 inches of precipitation and 2.3 inches of snow through out December, which is 0.14 inches and 1.2 inches below normal, respectively.  

Looking ahead into January, in Colorado Springs, the average high temperature of 43 degrees on January 1st persists through out the month, with the average low of 17 degrees on the 1st warming to 18 degrees through the middle and end of the month, yielding an average monthly temperature of 30.5 degrees for Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs averages 0.32 inches of precipitation and 5.6 inches of snow in January.  Of note, January on average, is the driest month of year in Colorado Springs.

In Pueblo, the average high and low temperature of 46 degrees and 14 degrees on January 1st warms to 48 degrees and 18 degrees, respectively, by the end of the month. yielding an average monthly temperature of 30.5 degrees. Pueblo averages 0.35 inches of precipitation and 6.5 inches of snow in January.  Of note, January on average, is the second driest month of year in Pueblo.

In Alamosa, the average high and low temperatures of 34 degrees and -2 degrees on January 1st, warm to 36 degrees and 0 degrees by the end of the month, with an average monthly temperature of 16.3 degrees. Alamosa averages 0.26 inches of precipitation and 4.0 inches of snow in January.   Of note, January on average, is tied with February as the driest month of year in Alamosa.

Below is the Climate Prediction Center's temperature and precipitation outlook for January, which gives generally equal chances of above, below and near normal temperatures and precipitation across the area, save a slight nod to above normal temperatures across western portions of the state and slight tilt to below normal temperatures to northeastern Colorado.  

 

 



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