By Chris Spears
It shows a lot a variability since records began in the 1800s.
March is known to be an extreme month in Colorado thanks to the transition from winter to spring, but if you pay close attention to the right side of the graph, you’ll see an obvious trend.
There’s a steady rise in Colorado’s average March temperature over the past six decades.
(follow the green line for the average)
I’ve lived in Colorado for 18 years and to me, March definitely seems to be getting warmer with time. In recent years it seems drier too.
What does a warmer March mean for Colorado?
That’s a tough question to answer.
It could mean anything from changes in the ski industry to wildfires and more frequent bouts with moderate to severe drought.
In some years it could mean bigger snow storms because warmer air can hold more water vapor than colder air, but of course that all depends on the polar jet stream, which is the main storm track across the United States.
Despite a warming climate we’re still going to have weather, and sometimes that will mean cold extremes, such as Denver’s record low of -2°F on March 25, 1996.
That’s because weather and climate are two different things. Weather is the now, or short-term, and climate is an average of weather over many years, or the long-term.
How long have you been in Colorado and what do you think about March weather?
Has it changed? If so, how?
Feel free to contact me via Facebook or Twitter.
Meteorologist Chris Spears travels weekly in the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab reporting about Colorado’s weather and climate. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.