September Climate Review and October Preview

September of 2013 started out very warm and dry across Colorado, as a large upper level ridge of high pressure persisted across the state. A weather system then moved into the Great Basin Region bringing a prolonged period of moist southerly flow aloft to the region from September 9th through the 15th. This moist southerly flow aloft, combined with moist low level upslope flow behind passing cold fronts across eastern Colorado, brought extreme rainfall to region, especially to portions of the Front Range, where pockets of 12 to 17 inches of rain were recorded. Unfortunately, this historic rainfall also caused deadly and destructive flooding across the state, with preliminary damage estimates of nearly 2 billion dollars to residental properties and infrastructure across the state at this time. September of 2013 then ended nearly the same as it started, with generally warm and dry conditions across the state.  The following graphics depict departures from normal for both temperatures and precipitation experienced across the state over the past month.

   

 Colorado Springs recorded 4.80 inches of rainfall over the past month of September. This is 3.61 inches above normal and makes September of 2013 the third wettest September on record, behind the 5.91 inches and the 4.97 inches recorded in September of 2011 and 2008, respectively. Colorado Springs has received other noteable amounts of precipitation over the past few months, with a combined 10.52 inches of rain recorded over the two past months. This makes August and September of 2013 the wettest on record, surpassing the 10.22 inches of precipitation recorded through August and September of 1976.  Colorado Springs has also recorded a combined 15.13 inches of precipitation over the past 3 months. This makes the July through September timeframe of 2013 the wettest on record, surpassing the 12.30 inches recorded in the July through September period of 2011.  In fact, the 3 month combined precipitation total of 15.13 inches is the third highest three month period precipitation total on record in Colorado Springs, just behind the 16.85 inches recorded in the June through August period of 1965, and the 15.66 inches recorded in the April through June timeframe of 1995.  

As for temperature, the average September temperature in Colorado Springs was 65.5 degrees. This is 4.6 degrees above average and makes September of 2013 the third warmest on record, behind the 67.0 degrees and the 66.6 degrees recorded in September of 2010 and 1931, respectively.

Alamosa recorded 2.98 inches of rainfall over the past month of September. This is 2.07 inches above normal and makes September of 2013 the wettest September on record, surpassing the 2.62 inches recorded in September of 1938.  Alamosa has also tallied a combined 5.45 inches of precipitation over the past two months, making August and September of 2013 the second wettest on record in Alamosa, just behind the 5.98 inches of precipitation recorded in the August and September period of 1993.  Alamosa also recorded a combinded 6.25 inches of precipitation over the past three months, making the July through September timeframe of 2013 the third wettest on record, just behind the 6.31 inches and 6.30 inches recorded in the July through September period of 1993 and 1936, respectively.  The combined 6.25 inches of precipitation recorded over the past three months in Alamosa is also the fourth highest three month period precipitation total on record in Alamosa.

As for temperature, the average September temperature in Alamosa was 57.8 degrees. This is 2.8 degrees above average and makes September of 2013 tied as the 7th warmest on record, well behind the 59.0 degrees recorded in September of 1933.

Pueblo recorded 1.27 inches of rainfall over the past month of September, which is 0.50 inches above normal.  Pueblo has also recorded notable amounts of precipitation over the past two months, with a combined total in August and September of 2013 of 5.19 inches, making it the 6th wettest August and September on record.  

As for temperature, the average September temperature in Pueblo was 69.6 degrees. This is 4.9 degrees above average and makes September of 2013 the 7th warmest on record, well behind the 71.0 degrees recorded in September of 1931.

Looking ahead into October, in Colorado Springs, the average high and low temperature of 68 degrees and 41 degrees on October 1st cools to 58 degrees and 31 degrees, respectively, by the end of the month, with an average monthly temperature of 49.4 degrees. Colorado Springs averages 0.82 inches of precipitation along with 2.9 inches of snow in October.  

In Alamosa, the average high and low temperature of 68 degrees and 30 degrees on October 1st cools to 55 degrees and 19 degrees by the end of the month, with an average monthly temperature of 43.1 degrees.  Alamosa averages 0.68 inches of precipitation and 2.1 inches of snow in October. 

In Pueblo,  the average high and low temperature of 75 degrees and 40 degrees on October 1st cools to 64 degrees and 29 degrees by the end of the month, with an average monthly temperature of 51.8 degrees. Pueblo averages 0.72 inches of precipitation along with 1.3 inches of snow in October.

Below is the Climate Prediction Center's temperature and precipitation outlook for October, which gives equal chances for above, below and near normal temperatures, along with a slight tilt to below normal precipitation across south central and southeast Colorado.

   

  



Return to News Archive

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.