Castle Rock Co Weather Climate Summary
July through September 2018
A statistical look and discussion of weather recorded for Castle Rock Colorado. This information was collected and recorded via weather stations, trained storm spotters and NWS reports for Castle Rock, Colorado. It is in no way an “official” record, just simply what was recorded for Castle Rock. These stats include snowfall, temperatures, precipitation, wind intensity and direction for the month.
If you missed our prediction for July 2018, you can read it here. Basically for most areas in and around the Palmer Divide, the forecast verified in many areas and came close to verifying in others. We predicted the monsoon would kick in later in the month and boy did it! Most areas in and around Castle Rock finished with average to slightly above average precipitation… some select areas saw well above average precipitation, so that’s good news! Here’s a look at how the month finished!
No surprise here, July was warm… it’s our warmest month of the year so it’s difficult to see temperatures way above average. When you look at the mean temperature for July 2018 it was pretty normal at first glance. Dive into the daily details and you’ll see the first half of the month was positively scorching, while the monsoon onset later in the month featured below average temperatures. Overall, the extreme hot and notable cooler temps together made the month finish very close to average in terms of temperature.
July 2018’s mean temperature finished 0.66 degrees above average (nearly average.)
True to form, July ended up as a relatively wet month. This is normal as July tends to be one of our wetter months of the year, mainly due to the monsoon that sets it at some point in the month. The month finished nearly an inch above average, this isn’t huge but it’s nice considering how incredibly dry this year has been.
July 2018’s total Precipitation finished 0.89 above average.
The monsoon was great for most of the Palmer Divide, many areas reported between 100%-200% of average for precipitation. This was great news after how dry June was and especially how dry 2018 has been in general. The bad news is that not everyone saw relief from the monsoon like we did…
Let’s zoom that map out to take a full look at Colorado.
Unfortunately nearly every area West of the continental divide saw below average precipitation. This is important because many mountain areas have been abnormally dry since spring. Areas in the Southwest part of the state are still grappling with extreme drought conditions.
A lot of places in the state are still in pretty serious drought. One big question I am often asked is, “how can we still be in a drought after all the rain we received?” Drought is something that cannot be broken by a couple of weeks of heavy rain, this year’s drought is a culmination of extremely dry conditions through most of the fall last year and winter and spring this year. Several seasons of drought will take several season of above average precipitation to break. If we have a wet fall and winter this year, we may just be lucky enough to find ourselves out of drought conditions by early next year. If not, expect drought conditions to get worse if we see a drier fall and winter this year.
I had quite a few people asking me about this August with some of the most common questions being, “why is it so rainy and cool?” “Isn’t this the most unusual summer you’ve seen in Colorado?” Many questions were similar to how weird this August was, how cool it was, how rainy it was… but honestly, as someone who’s grown up in Colorado since the mid 80’s this was one of the more normal summers we’ve had in a long time. Growing up as a kid, summers used to tend to be wet with many cloudy cool days sprinkled throughout the month due the monsoon. If you catch the July summary above and read the August summary below you’ll see that both July and August were pretty close to climatological normals!
For temperatures in August 2018, you’ll notice some variablility, especially at the beginning and towards the start of the second half of the month. The monsoon stuck around pretty well through August and we were able to see afternoon storms and a few cloudy and cool days keep the temperatures down. Overall August 2018 finished just slightly below average on its mean temperature.
August 2018’s mean temperature finished 0.78 degrees below average.
This shocks some people when I point it out; August is our wettest month of the year! So we would expect ample amounts of rainfall during a “typical” August. Castle Rock received decent amounts of rain through the month and as always the rain totals were very localized. Some stations reported above average while others were below… the station we use for reporting ended up just slightly below average. Not terribly concerned as we did receive quite a bit of moisture throughout the month… but we need more consistent moisture if we will break out of drought conditions.
August 2018’s total Precipitation finished 0.50 below average (nearly average.)
August 2018 behaved like what we’d expect for a typical August in Colorado. Warm sunny days broken up by cool cloudy days with bouts of rain thanks to our healthy monsoon pattern. Not enough moisture fell to make a dent in our drought pattern but we at least kept things from getting worse East of the Continental Divide. Sadly many mountain areas saw extremely dry conditions that made their drought situation worse, this especially worries me as El Nino patterns sometimes are not kind to our Northern and Central Mountains.
Speaking of which, our thoughts will turn to fall as we enter September, look like about a 70% chance of a weak El Nino setting up for the fall/winter/spring months. We will keep an eye on how this plays out but we generally see a warmer and wetter fall season with these types of patterns.
Check back in October for the September summary!