February Climate Review and March Preview

February of 2015 was a tale of two seasons across much of south central and southeast Colorado. The first half of the month was very warm with average temperatures running around 10 degrees above normal through the first 20 days of the month. The first half of the month also saw mainly dry conditions across the area, with two weather systems bringing snow to the higher terrain and rain and snow to the lower elevations between February 9th and 16th. A cool and unsettled weather pattern developed around February 20th which then persisted through the end of the month, bringing in much needed precipitation to the state, especially southern and eastern portions of the area, which saw above to well above normal precipitation for the month as a whole. Temperatures across the area also ended up above to well above average for the month as a whole, despite being well below average throughout the last week of the month. The following graphics indicate preliminary departures from normal for both temperatures and precipitation across the state over the past month.

   

 The preliminary average temperature in Colorado Springs throughout the month of February was 33.5 degrees, which is 1.4 degrees above normal. Colorado Springs recorded 1.45 inches of precipitation in February. This is 1.11 inches above normal and makes February of 2015 the 4th wettest February on record in Colorado Springs. This, however, remains well below the 2.45 inches of precipitation recorded in February of 1987. Colorado Springs also recorded 16.6 inches of snow throughout the month of February. This is 11.7 inches above normal and makes February of 2015 the 5th snowiest February on record in Colorado Springs. This again remains well below the 23.2 inches of snow recorded in February of 1987.  Of note, just over half (56 percent) of the monthly precipitation and 75 percent of the monthly snowfall was recorded within the last 8 days of the month.

The preliminary average temperature in Pueblo throughout the month of February was 35.3 degrees, which is 1.4 degrees above normal.  Pueblo recorded 1.13 inches of precipitation throughout the month of February. This is 0.83 inches above normal and makes February of 2015 the 7th wettest February on record in Pueblo.  This, however, remains well below the 1.47 inches recorded in February of 1897. Pueblo recorded 23.5 inches of snow throughout the month of February. This is 19.7 inches above normal and makes February of 2015 the snowiest February on record in Pueblo,  surpassing the 20.1 inches of snow recorded in February of 1894.  Of note, well over half (68 percent) of the monthly precipitation and nearly all (86 percent) of the monthly snowfall was recorded within the last 8 days of the month.

The preliminary average temperature in Alamosa throughout the month of February was 28.8 degrees. This is 5.2 degrees above normal and makes February of 2015 the 16th warmest February on record in Alamosa. This, however, remains well behind the warmest February average temperature of 33.2 degrees recorded in 1995.  Alamosa recorded 1.01 inches of precipitation throughout the month of February. This is 0.75 inches above normal and makes February of 2015 the 3rd wettest on record in Alamosa. This, however, remains well behind the 1.42 inches of precipitation recorded in February of 1963. Alamosa also recorded 15.9 inches of snow throughout February. This is 12.1 inches above normal and makes February of 2015 the 2nd snowiest February on record in Alamosa, just shy of the 16.0 inches of snow recorded in February of 1963.  Of note, nearly all (87 percent) of the monthly precipitation and snowfall was recorded within the last 7 days of the month.

Looking ahead into March, in Colorado Springs, the average high and low temperatures of 48 degrees and 22 degrees on March 1st, warm to 56 degrees and 29 degrees, respectively, by the end of the month, with an average monthly temperature of 39.1 degrees. Colorado Springs averages 1 inch of precipitation and 8.1 inches of snow in March.  Of note, March on average, is the snowiest month of the year in Colorado Springs.

In Pueblo, the average high and low temperatures of 55 degrees and 21 degrees on March 1st, warm to 63 degrees and 30 degrees, respectively, by the end of the month with an average monthly temperature of 42.3 degrees. Pueblo averages 0.93 inches of precipitation and 5.7 inches of snow in March.  Of note,  March on average, is the second snowiest month of the year in Pueblo.

In Alamosa, the average high and low temperatures of 45 degrees and 12 degrees on March 1st, warm to 55 degrees and 21 degrees, respectively, by the end of the month, with an average monthly temperature of 33.5 degrees. Alamosa averages 0.53 inches of precipitation and 5.0 inches of snow in March.  Of note, March on average, is the snowiest month of the year in Alamosa.

Below is the Climate Prediction Center's temperature and precipitation outlook for March, which gives equal chances of above, below and near normal temperatures across the state, save a slight nod to below normal temperatures to extreme eastern Colorado and a slight nod to above normal temperatures to extreme western Colorado. As for precipitation, the outlook gives equal chances of above, below and near normal precipitation across eastern portions of the state with slightly better chances for above normal precipitation across the western half of the state.     

   

 

 

 



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