Feb 6, 2023 - News

Denver records coldest, wettest January in years

Warmest Januarys in Denver, 1872-2023
Data: NOAA; Chart: Axios Visuals

If you thought Denver's January temperatures felt unusually frigid, you were right.

What's happening: Meteorologists say a recent series of Pacific storm systems and Arctic blasts moving across the state brought heavier snow and bitterly cold temperatures.

By the numbers: The average Denver temperature last month was 25°F, 6.5°F below normal, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  • And so much for dry January — last month was the eighth-wettest one in Denver history, with 1.25 inches of precipitation, per a report released Friday from the National Weather Service.
  • It also marked the third consecutive month with below-normal temperatures and above-normal snowfall.

Of note: Of the 26 cities where Axios obtained NOAA data, Denver and Phoenix were the only two in which average temperatures dropped below the 30-year baseline between 1991 and 2020.

Yes, but: Historically speaking, January's weather was mostly a fluke.

The big picture, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: With human-caused climate change, winters are warming faster than summers in much of the U.S., including Colorado.

  • The Centennial State has grown "substantially" warmer in the last three decades, and even more when looking at the last 50 years, according to the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

🥶 1 fun fact to go: The coldest January on record in Denver was in 1930, when the average temperature was 16.8°F.

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