Colorado Sets Record with Wild Temperature Swings

Taylor Stephan | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Temperature swing
Weather highlights from the week. Photo Credit: Chris Tomer/Facebook

It’s been a wild week in Colorado weather-wise. From scorching heat and forest fires to winter storm warnings and snow, the state has experienced quite the fluctuation in temperature.

The state kicked off Labor Day weekend with extreme heat. On Saturday, September 6, 2020, both Fort Collins, CO, and Denver, CO broke into the triple digits with a reported high of 100 and 101 degrees respectively. On Sunday, September 7, 2020, Fort Collins followed up with a high temperature of 99, the highest temperature observed this late in September.

Labor Day, Monday, September 8, 2020, is where the weather completely flip-flopped. After record-breaking heat the previous two days, a winter storm approached the state. By Tuesday, Fort Collins had reported 0.3 inches of snow, the earliest accumulating snowfall in 130 years. Denver reported a dusting of snow as well, an uncommon scene for early September.

weather records
Summary of extreme weather over Labor Day Weekend 2020. Photo Credit: NWS Boulder/Facebook

With such wild weather, Meteorologists are checking to see if any records were broken. The record up to be broken: The national record for the shortest gap between a 100-degree day and measurable snow. Rapid City, SD currently holds the record but meteorologists will continue to scour the state of Colorado to see if they can take the title.

One great side effect of the dramatic turn in weather this past week was the snow and moisture the winter storm brought. Firefighters had been battling forest fires in the state, and the wet weather certainly helped dampen and reduce the threat of their continued spread.

I went to the University of Colorado Boulder in the earlier part of the decade so I’m definitely familiar with Colorado’s wild weather. For a kid from Southern California, it was quite the day when we would experience all four seasons in a day. Even during graduation, I remember the day before hiking the Flatirons on a perfectly sunny 85-degree day, while graduation day was a cold, partially sleeting 40-degree day. I have a feeling this won’t be the last we hear of wild weather in Colorado.

Boulder
University of Colorado Boulder – from sun to snow in 1 day. Photo Credit: Casey Cass via @BianchiWeather

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