By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Climate Center in Fort Collins released a graph of Colorado’s average March temperature on their Facebook page Thursday.

It shows a lot a variability since records began in the 1800s.

29683175 966117486871674 4947842810153705101 n Colorados Climate: March Shows Steady Warming Since 1950

(credit: Colorado Climate Center)

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.

mountaincam1 Colorados Climate: March Shows Steady Warming Since 1950

What does a warmer March mean for Colorado?

That’s a tough question to answer.

evergreen 17 Colorados Climate: March Shows Steady Warming Since 1950

Evergreen got 72 inches of snow during the March 2003 blizzard, and a CBS4 crew got stuck in the mountain town at CBS4 photographer Tom Meyer’s house. This is a photo he took of CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll during the storm.

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.

26 Colorados Climate: March Shows Steady Warming Since 1950

(credit: CBS)

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.

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