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Denver’s August wraps up warmer and drier than normal

Sunday, September 5th, 2010 3:37am MDT

Denver wraps up a warm and dry August 2010.

Is it global warming at work?  Probably not but the Mile High City experienced a very warm month of August that nearly ended up in the “top 10” statistical column.  Were it not for things cooling down in the last week that almost certainly would have happened.

Denver’s average temperature for the month was 73.8 degrees – 2.1 degrees above normal.  That put it 0.3 degrees shy of the number ten spot for warmest August on record which was in 1947 with an average temperature of 74.1.  We should be thankful we didn’t reach near the top spot.  The hottest August on record was in 1937 when we hit an average of 76.8 degrees

In terms of extremes, the hottest day of the month occurred on the 22nd when the mercury climbed to 97 degrees.  The coldest temperature recorded was on the 17th when we dropped to 47 degrees.  Neither of those were records. 

Overall we recorded 12 days with 90 degree or higher temperatures – three above normal.  Similarly we have seen 41 ninety degree plus days this year which is 10 more than normal. 

Only one temperature record was set for the month.  That occurred on the 18th when a record high minimum of 67 degrees was recorded.  This tied the previous record for the date set in 1986. 

Here in Thornton we were a bit cooler than the Denver measurements.  We saw an average temperature of 72.3 degrees with a high of 93.9 on the 18th and a low of 51.1 degrees on the 17th.

It may not have seemed like it as we did have quite a few days with thunderstorms but we in fact finished August with below normal precipitation.  Denver recorded 1.05 inch but that was 0.77 inch below normal. 

Most of that precipitation however fell within the first seven days of the month when 1.03 of the total was recorded.  Of that, 0.68 inch was recorded on the first of the month.  However, a mere 0.02 inch was recorded for the final three weeks of the month. 

Thornton fared better than the official measurements in terms of precipitation.  We recorded 1.41 inches for the month and the moisture we received was spread out across the month much better.

At the official Denver monitoring station at Denver International Airport they recorded 10 days with thunderstorms.  The max wind gust was 45 mph recorded on the 12th and again on the 16th. 

Below are the official Denver weather statistics for August 2010 from the National Weather Service.  Click here to view Thornton’s summary report.

CLIMATE REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BOULDER, CO
715 PM MDT THU SEP 2 2010

................................... 

...THE DENVER CO CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST 2010...

CLIMATE NORMAL PERIOD 1971 TO 2000
CLIMATE RECORD PERIOD 1872 TO 2010

WEATHER         OBSERVED          NORMAL  DEPART  LAST YEAR'S
                 VALUE   DATE(S)  VALUE   FROM    VALUE  DATE(S)
                                          NORMAL
................................................................
TEMPERATURE (F)
RECORD
 HIGH             105   08/08/1878
 LOW               40   08/26/1910
                        08/25/1910
                        08/24/1910
HIGHEST            97   08/22       105      -8       98  08/23
LOWEST             47   08/17        40       7       47  08/17
                                                          08/16
AVG. MAXIMUM     88.6              86.0     2.6     85.5
AVG. MINIMUM     59.0              57.4     1.6     55.1
MEAN             73.8              71.7     2.1     70.4
DAYS MAX >= 90     12               9.3     2.7        9
DAYS MAX <= 32      0               0.0     0.0        0
DAYS MIN <= 32      0               0.0     0.0        0
DAYS MIN <= 0       0               0.0     0.0        0
PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
RECORD
 MAXIMUM         5.85   1979

 MINIMUM         0.02   1924
TOTALS           1.05              1.82   -0.77     1.14
DAILY AVG.       0.03              0.06   -0.03     0.04
DAYS >= .01         6               8.8    -2.8        8
DAYS >= .10         3                MM      MM        4
DAYS >= .50         1                MM      MM        0
DAYS >= 1.00        0                MM      MM        0
GREATEST
 24 HR. TOTAL    0.68  08/01 TO 08/01   0.47  08/06 TO 08/06       

SNOWFALL (INCHES)
RECORDS
 TOTAL            0.0   NEVER ANY SNOW RECORDED IN AUGUST
TOTALS            0.0                                               

DEGREE_DAYS
HEATING TOTAL       0                 9      -9        9
 SINCE 7/1          3                10      -7       22
COOLING TOTAL     280               217      63      180
 SINCE 1/1        762               639     123      455              

FREEZE DATES
RECORD
 EARLIEST     09/08/1962
 LATEST       06/08/2007
EARLIEST                        10/07
LATEST                          05/05
.................................................................

WIND (MPH)
AVERAGE WIND SPEED              9.6                    8.6
RESULTANT WIND SPEED/DIRECTION   4/186            MM
HIGHEST WIND SPEED/DIRECTION    38/190  08/12          08/280 08/06
HIGHEST GUST SPEED/DIRECTION    45/340  08/12/16     47/210 08/05

SKY COVER
POSSIBLE SUNSHINE (PERCENT)   MM                                      

NUMBER OF DAYS FAIR            8
NUMBER OF DAYS PC             21
NUMBER OF DAYS CLOUDY          2

AVERAGE RH (PERCENT)     45

WEATHER CONDITIONS. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH
THUNDERSTORM             10     MIXED PRECIP               0
HEAVY RAIN                2     RAIN                       2
LIGHT RAIN               10     FREEZING RAIN              0
LT FREEZING RAIN          0     HAIL                       0
HEAVY SNOW                0     SNOW                       0
LIGHT SNOW                0     SLEET                      0
FOG                       3     FOG W/VIS <= 1/4 MILE      1
HAZE                      4                                           

-  INDICATES NEGATIVE NUMBERS.
R  INDICATES RECORD WAS SET OR TIED.
MM INDICATES DATA IS MISSING.
T  INDICATES TRACE AMOUNT.

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