Winter of 2014-15 Climate Review and Spring of 2015 Outlook

"Meteorological Winter" of 2014-15 (December, January and February) was defined by temperature and weather extremes. December started out warm with at to well above seasonal temperatures experienced through the first 25 days of the month across the area. 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.

January of 2015 was a generally warm and dry month across the area, especially across south central Colorado which saw well above average temperatures and generally below normal precipitation for the month as a whole. Portions of eastern Colorado started out January cool and unsettled with a year ending arctic blast, but quickly warmed and dried after the first few days of the month. A few minor arctic intrusions brought brief cool downs and some beneficial precipitation and snowfall to eastern Colorado throughout the middle of the month, especially the Pikes Peak region and portions of the southeast plains, before well above normal and record warmth was again experienced across the area through the later days of the month.  Some more beneficial snowfall was recorded across the mountains and high mountain valleys over the last few days of the month, along with scattered rain and snow showers across the southeast plains.

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 images below indicate the departures from normal temperature and precipitation across the state for the Winter of 2014-15 (December, January and February).

   

 The average temperature throughout the Winter of  2014-15 in Alamosa was 24.4 degrees.  This is 5.4 degrees above normal and makes the Winter of 2014-15 tied with the Winters of 1995-96 and 1934-35, as the 6th warmest on record in Alamosa. This remains well behind the highest winter average temperature of 26.4 degrees recorded through out the Winter of 1994-95.  Alamosa received 1.55 inches of precipitation through out the Winter. This is 0.68 inches above the seasonal average and makes the Winter of 2014-15 the 8th wettest on record in Alamosa. This remains well behind the 2.17 inches of precipitation recorded through the Winter of 1964-65.  Alamosa also tallied 21.6 inches of snow through out the Winter. This is 9.1 inches above normal and makes the Winter of 2014-15 the 10th snowiest on record in Alamosa. This also remains well behind the 38.1 inches of snow recorded through out the Winter of 1964-65.  (click here for a more detailed Winter of 2014-15 climate summary in Alamosa)

The average temperature throughout the Winter of 2014-15 in Colorado Springs was 32.6 degrees, which is 1.8 degrees above normal.  Colorado Springs received 2.48 inches of precipitation through out the Winter. This is 1 inch above the seasonal average and makes the Winter of 2014-15 the 7th wettest on record in Colorado Springs. This is still well behind the 4.05 inches of precipitation recorded through out the Winter of 1933-34. Colorado Springs also tallied 33.8inches of snow through out the Winter. This is 16.9 inches above normal and makes the Winter of 2014-15 the 3rd snowiest winter on record in Colorado Springs. This is still well behind the 56.3 inches of snow recorded in the Winter of 1986-87.  (click here for a more detailed Winter of 2014-15 climate summary in Colorado Springs)

 The average temperature throughout the Winter of 2014-15 in Pueblo was 33.1 degrees, which is 1.6 degrees above normal.  Pueblo received 1.62 inches of precipitation through out the Winter of 2014-15, which is 0.63 inches above the seasonal average. Pueblo also tallied 32.1inches of snow through out the Winter. This is 15.4 inches above normal and makes the Winter of 2014-15 the 5th snowiest on record in Pueblo. This is still well behind the 38.6 inches of snow recorded throughout the Winter of 1987-88.   (click here for a more detailed Winter of 2014-15 climate summary in Pueblo)

Below is the Climate Prediction Center's three month temperature and precipitation outlook for the Spring of  2015 (March, April and May), which gives equal chances of above, below and near normal temperatures and better chances of above normal precipitation across all of south central and southeast Colorado.  

 

   

 

 

 

 

 



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