How Colorado's summer weather looked in 3 maps
Colorado's summer weather is a tale of a great divide.
State of play: The Front Range experienced a cooler and wetter summer, according to new data from NOAA that compared this year to the 30-year average.
Yes, but: In portions of western and southern Colorado, the cold, wet weather from spring transformed into a hot, dry summer.
Why it matters: Temperatures and precipitation are key factors for wildfires, not to mention agriculture, the state's second-largest economic driver.
By the numbers: Denver's average temperature this summer hit 70.8°, about 1.3° cooler than the average between 1991 and 2020.
- At the same time, average precipitation reached 9.13 inches, about 3.5 inches more than normal. It ranks as the seventh wettest summer on record.
The big picture: Numerous states saw a much hotter than average summer. In addition, some spots received unusually heavy precipitation and others entered flash drought territory, Axios' Erin Davis and Andrew Freedman report.
Context: The odds and severity of extreme heat events are rapidly increasing as the climate warms in response to human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases.
- In Denver, 22 of the 91 days — 24% of summer — featured temperatures notably influenced by climate change in 2023, per Climate Central, a research nonprofit.
- The impact of climate change this summer was more pronounced in Colorado Springs (36%) and Grand Junction (28%).
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the baseline temperature measurement is the 30-year average between 1991-2020, not 1981-2020.
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