DENVER (CBS4) – When it comes to Colorado’s weather in the year 2020 most are going to remember the extreme drought which led to record wildfires, but we did have some other notable events.
January featured a few windstorms including one that produced a gust to 100 mph at Carter Lake on the 7th. February started off with record high temperatures in places like Boulder where the thermometer hit 75 degrees on the 2nd. Then just two days later a foot of snow fell on the city.
The snow marked a drastic shift in the weather pattern where Denver picked up 9 inches of snow before the 10th of the month after an extremely dry start to the year. The mountains were pounded with a consistent parade of snowstorms which helped knock down drought.
March was warm and dry for most of the state with several rock slides reported in the high country. One of those covered Highway 40 near the Yampa Valley Airport. In the middle of the month a potent winter storm hit the state right after the coronavirus shutdown sending thousands to play outside.
April brought a few more snowstorms and some record cold on the 13th and 14th. Boulder exceeded their snowiest season on record with over 145 inches. The month ended with unusually warm conditions which helped fuel wildfires, including the 560 Fire near Cheesman Reservoir.
May brought more wildfires around Colorado as drought conditions expanded rapidly. Many places set new record high temperatures including Alamosa. A landspout tornado damaged a farm building in Weld County on the 20th. Snow fell in the mountains and foothills over the Memorial Day Weekend with a generous rain in Denver that totaled almost an inch on the 24th.
One of the most talked about weather stories of the year took place in early June when a rare derecho formed in southeast Utah and traveled across the entire state of Colorado, producing wind gusts up to 110 mph. The storm impaled a man and his young daughter when a tree fell in southwest Denver.
July brought more heat and wildfire activity including one that was close to downtown Evergreen. It forced hundreds of evacuations before a cold, wet weather pattern helped put the fire out.
In Yuma a rare heat burst was recorded during the early morning hours on the 8th. The temperature jumped to nearly 90 degrees during the middle of the night. A tornado hit near Julesburg on the 9th but didn’t cause any damage. The town of Alamosa recorded a wild temperature swing on the 10th.
In August some severe thunderstorms hit the plains of eastern Colorado on the 4th. A rare early morning microburst slammed the Limon vicinity on the 10th. The rest of the month was dominated by drought, out-of-control wildfires and poor air quality.
In September an early snowstorm hit the state on Labor Day with enough snow to down trees around metro Denver. Up to a foot of snow fell on the Cameron Peak Fire which temporarily doused the flames. Unusually warm weather quickly returned to Denver with the city setting a new record for the highest number of 90 degree days recorded in a single season.
Windy and warm weather continued to fuel wildfires into the month of October. Widespread snow finally fell in the high country just prior to Halloween.
Colorado ski areas started opening for the season during the month of November as a few snowstorms and colder weather helped snowmaking operations. A few high wind events hit the state including one on the 13th and 14th.
In December the Cameron Peak Fire was declared fully contained 112 days after it started. Heavy snow fell at Wolf Creek Ski Area making the resort one of the first in the nation to surpass 100 inches of snow for the season. Christmas was dry and mild around the state with Denver recording a high temperature of 60 degrees.