Vernal Equinox; will Spring really get here?

11:50 AM MDT, Thursday, March 20, 2019

Spring arrives at 3:58 PM MDT today and the weather will be right about what climatology suggests. The average this time of year for Denver-Boulder is for a high in the mid 50s and a low in the upper 20s, and we may stay close to that through the weekend. A weak disturbance will probably bring some brief showers to some parts of the Front Range region Friday or Friday night (rain in the lower elevations and snow or mixed above 7000 feet).

 

Is Spring slow this year?

For those of you wondering if the crocus & daffodils seems a bit slow this year, they are. March has been much colder than average so far, and that followed a colder than average February (December and January were a bit warmer than average).

The real notable feature this winter hasn’t been remarkable cold waves, but rather, the absence of warm spells. There was one cold snap that sent us into record low territory on March 2-3rd, and a couple of notable (but not record) brief cold snaps around New Years Day and on February 6-8th. But what we haven’t seen is warm waves that feature a stretch of days reaching 60 or more. For the period since the current Boulder climate station was established in 1990, the average number of days reaching or exceeding 60 during Dec-Jan-Feb is twelve. This season (Dec-Jan-Feb) there were only 4. Only three winter seasons had fewer 60-degree days in Dec-Jan-Feb: 2000-2001 had 3, 1992-1993 had 2, and 2009-2010 has 1. The month of March reaches at least 60 an average of 13-14 times, and this year we have not reached 60 yet. There is a tiny chance of reaching 60 today or tomorrow and a better chance for a couple of 60-degree days  in the middle of next week, but this month won’t get near the average.

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