The Fall of 2016 (September, October and November ) was very warm and dry across most of south central and southeast Colorado and ended up as the warmest and driest Fall Season on record in Colorado Springs, the warmest Fall Season on record in Pueblo and the 4th warmest and 8th driest Fall Season on record in Alamosa.
The Fall of 2016 started out mainly warm and dry as upper level high pressure dominated the weather patterns across south central and southeast Colorado throughout the month of September, with a few minor disturbances bringing spotty areas of above normal precipitation to portions of the southeast plains.
Dry and warm weather remained across south central and southeast Colorado throughout the month of October, as upper level high pressure again dominated the weather patterns across the region. A few minor disturbances moved across northern portions of the region, bringing a few periods of rain and snow showers to the higher terrain, mainly along and west of the Continental Divide, along with periods of windy weather to south central and southeast Colorado. These windy periods, along with well below normal precipitation over the past few months, helped to fan and spread two large wildfires (Beulah Valley started on October 3rd and Junkins started on October 17th and spreading to 15,000 acres in one day) across the area over in October of 2016.
November of 2016 started out where October left off, with very warm and dry weather experienced across most of south central and southeast Colorado through the first half of the month, as upper level high pressure again dominated the weather patterns across the region. A few minor disturbances moved across northern portions of the region through the middle of the month, bringing a few periods of rain and snow showers to the higher terrain, mainly along and west of the Continental Divide. The weather pattern changed through the last half of the month, allowing for cooler temperatures and better chances of precipitation across the region through the end of the month, as more weather systems were able to dig across the Rockies.
The preliminary average temperature for the Fall of 2016 in Colorado Springs was 56.0 degrees. This is 6.5 degrees above normal and makes the Fall of 2016 the warmest on record in Colorado Springs, smashing the previous record Fall average temperature of 55.2 degrees, recorded through the Fall of 1963. Colorado Springs recorded only 0.23 inches of precipitation throughout the Fall of 2016. This is 2.18 inches below normal and makes the Fall of 2016 the driest Fall period on record, beating out the 0.54 inches of precipitation recorded throughout the Fall of 1948.
The preliminary average temperature for the Fall of 2016 in Pueblo was 58.3 degrees. This is 6.4 degrees above normal and makes the Fall of 2016 the warmest on record in Pueblo, just surpassing the average Fall temperature of 58.2 degrees recorded through the Fall of 1963. Pueblo recorded 0.83 inches of precipitation throughout the Fall, which is 1.13 inches below normal. (Of note, Pueblo recorded 0.06 inches of precipitation on November 17th, as a thunderstorm moved across the airport early in the afternoon. This precipitation ended a dry streak of 63 consecutive days without measurable precipitation at the Pueblo Airport, which is tied as the 4th longest dry streak ever recorded in Pueblo. Pueblo ended the month of November with 0.78 inches of precipitation).
The Climate Prediction Center’s (CPC) temperature and precipitation outlook for the Winter of 2016-2017 (December, January and February), indicates a better chance for above normal temperatures and equal chances of above, below and near normal precipitation across the area, save a slight tilt to below normal precipitation across the southeast Colorado Plains.
The following are local precipitation totals in inches for southeast Colorado communities, September through November 2016:
|Springfield 0.5 NW||0.38||Walsh 5.54 SSW||0.73|
|Campo 7.8 NE||1.81||Las Animas 8.1 NE||0.47|
|Crowley 0.2 E||1.20||Eads 0.45E||1.19|
|Haswell 0.07 NNW||0.64||Burlington 0.58 NE||2.06|
|Trinidad 1.9 ENE||1.84||La Junta 0.2 NW||1.43|
|Rocky Ford 0.4 SE||1.25||Holly 0.1 ENE||0.96|
|Two Buttes 11.8N||0.50||Lamar 2.9S||1.37|
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