Drought news: The summer was the second hottest on record for the Pueblo area

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Gayle Perez):

For the months of June, July and August, Pueblo’s highest average temperature of 77.2 degrees was just six-tenth of a degree shy of breaking the 41-year-old record. Neighboring Southeastern Colorado communities of Alamosa and Colorado Springs had their warmest summers on record, according to statistics from the National Weather Service. Alamosa’s average temperature was 65.3 degrees, nearly a degree hotter than the record set last year at 64.4 degrees. Colorado Springs’ average temperature was 73.2 degrees, which broke a 31-year record. In Pueblo, the three-month highest average was 77.2 degrees. The statistics are for June 1 through Wednesday…

The average high temperature in Pueblo was 93.8 degrees, the third-hottest on record. The record high average is 94.1 degrees, set in 2002…

“It was a general heat wave. It was hot and dry in Texas and the ridge of high pressure extended into Southeastern Colorado,” [Paul Wolyn of the National Weather Service] said. “Besides the warm, we had the monsoon plume push away from us and we didn’t have those afternoon thunderstorms like we’ve had in the past. Without the afternoon storms, it just got a little warmer around here.”

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Meanwhile, Denver recorded the hottest on record August, as well. Here’s a report from Bob Berwyn writing for the Summit County Citizens Voice. From the article:

according to the National Weather Service, where Denver recorded its all-time hottest August on record, with an average temperature of 77 degrees for the month. That may not sound so hot but remember, that reading is the average of all highs and lows for the entire month. The previous record, 76.8 degrees, was set in the Dust Bowl era, back in 1937.

It was also the sixth-hottest month in the Mile High City, with the hottest August on record way back in July 1934, with an average temperature of 77.8 degrees.

The near-record readings came courtesy of a sustained string of warm days, and not just from a few extreme spikes. Through Aug. 31, Denver recorded 71 consecutive days with temperatures climbing above 80 degrees. The previous record streak for 80-degree-plus days was 59 days, set during the epic 2002 drought year.

Here’s the August 2011 Climate Summary from the High Plains Regional Climate Center.

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