Time Machine Tuesday: Tracking Colorado’s Climate

It’s been a mild and dry November and December — but is this unusual for Colorado?  How does this year compare to temperatures in Colorado over the last century?

Ninety years ago, the Agricultural Experiment Station at Colorado Agricultural College (today’s Colorado State University) published The Climate of Colorado: A Forty-One Year Record, which you can read online courtesy of our library.  Table 2, on page 17 of the document, shows the daily low temperatures for each day in December from 1887 to 1927.  You can see by the table that on today’s date, December 5, the warmest low (minimum) temperature, 38 degrees F, occurred in 1896 (the coldest was in 1909, with -19 degrees F!).  Also, the warmest high (maximum) temperature for the month of December during the 1887-1927 period was 71.7, in 1921 — so highs in the 60s and 70s aren’t exactly new, as you can see from Table 15 on page 30 of the document.

CSU still tracks Colorado’s climate data.  Visit their Colorado Climate Center website to download temperature and precipitation data from weather stations across the state.  Available current and historical data includes daily, monthly, and yearly temperatures and precipitation; normals and extremes; state records; archived monthly climate reports; and much more.

Here are some other online resources from our library that give the history of Colorado’s climate: