February is historically one of our drier winter months and is no stranger to huge swings in temperature. We often see warm sunny days in the 50’s and 60’s along the front range aided by strong downslope winds. We saw all of these features in February 2017 but toward the extreme end of temperature and wind events. The month was historically warm and slightly drier than normal. February 2017 will go down in history as warm enough to place in the top 10 warmest February’s and for Denver at least, the 6th driest on record.
There’s a ton of orange on our daily means graph for this month. Temperatures started off slightly below normal as we moved into the month from a cooler than average January and the heat took over after that. Daily means spiked to anywhere between 20 to 30 degrees above average for several days. A brief cooldown moved in towards the middle of the month followed again by record breaking temperatures after. As we ended the month, we saw cooler than average temperatures and a bit of snow which helped push us below record breaking territory, if only slightly.
The monthly mean temperature for Castle Rock finished at 38.5 degrees which is 5.50 degrees above average
Note the high temperatures, a few daily high records were set and we had an extended period of days that topped out above 60 degrees! The Castle Rock area even experienced a few days in the 70’s as Denver even hit an 80 degree temperature for the first time ever in February.
If not for a late snowstorm during the last week of February we might have seen 0 inches of snow for the month! February is known as a dry month but still averages just over 7 inches of snow, we only saw 4.68, which is slightly below average. The snow storms we saw during the month were quick hitters generally only leaving a few inches of snow with the largest storm depositing around 4.18 inches in the Castle Rock area.
Total liquid precipitation for Castle Rock finished at 0.03 inches which is 0.62 inches below average.
Snowfall for Castle Rock finished at 4.68 inches which is 2.52 inches below average.
Hopefully we can get more moisture out of March but the long range pattern concerns me a bit. The good news is that even if March ends up warm and dry I see some hope in April and May!