From Colorado Public Radio (Hayley Sanchez):
Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Alamosa and Grand Junction all had temperatures above average for July and August, according to the National Weather Service…
Scott Stearns with the Weather Service in Grand Junction said the city had 28 days during the month with temperatures at or above 90 degrees. On average, Grand Junction usually only has about 16 days with those hot temperatures.
“Rarely do we hit that average here in Western Colorado. Usually, we’ve got a good monsoon, a lot of moisture coming up and we’re below 90 during the month of August most of the time,” Stearns said. “We keep hitting those high temperatures well through August.”
Stearns said temperatures in Grand Junction were 5.4 degrees above the normal high at 95.1 degrees. In 2018, the normal high was 92.6 degrees with 24 days at or above 90 degrees.
In Denver, the average high for August was 90.6 degrees, said Frank Cooper with the weather service in Boulder. The average monthly temperature is 73.5 degrees.
“August was the warmest month,” he said. “We were still getting some of those wet thunderstorms through like the first or second week, which is around that monsoon period. But we started to dry out fairly well toward the latter part of the month and we stayed kinda dry.”
Cooper said Denver didn’t reach 90 degrees until June 26, which is unusual.
“We kept our snowpack through the month and normally if it warms up really fast, we deal with a lot of runoff issues and we really didn’t deal with that because it stayed cool through the first part of the summer,” he said. “We really didn’t have like a really solid monsoon season. We did get periods where we got heavy rainfall from mid-July to mid-August, but generally, it was rather it was dry.”
Peter Goble, a service climatologist and drought specialist with Colorado’s Climate Center, said the combination of above-average moisture, few 90-degree days across the urban corridor in June and a great snowpack helped keep water supplies high and fire season less active.
From The Aspen Times (Scott Condon):
Aspen just experienced its sixth-driest August in the past 68 years, according to weather data collected by the water plant.
Just 0.82 inches of precipitation fell at the water plant for the month. That was less than half of the August average of 1.78 inches. The water plant has kept records since 1951.
The record low for precipitation in August was 0.58 inches in 1996. Other years that were drier than this year for the month were 1978, 1985, 1988 and 2004…
For the year-to-date, Aspen Water Plant has received 20.52 inches of precipitation. The average through August is 15.07 inches. A second weather station at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, which is at a lower elevation than the water plant, recorded 11.95 inches of precipitation through August compared to a year-to-date average of 11.46 inches.
Meanwhile, long-range forecasts are starting to roll in for the winter. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecast for December through February indicated a strong probability of higher than average temperatures for that three-month period in all of Colorado. NOAA forecasted an “equal chance” of Colorado’s precipitation being above average, below average and average for the three-month period.