WeatherWeather Science


July was both incredibly hot and rainy in Colorado

Posted at 2:01 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 19:24:09-04

July 2022's weather pattern was characterized by a battle between strong ridges of high pressure and monsoon flow. This led to both record heat and high rain totals.

Record Heat
Strong high-pressure overhead will force air to sink as it seeks out lower pressure. This sinking air hits the surface and compresses the atmosphere, thus heating it up. This pattern was seen multiple times throughout the month.

This month, Colorado Springs broke 4 daily record high temperatures on the 9th, 10th, 19th, and 23rd. The hottest day was the 23rd at 100°. This being the 11th time in recorded history the Springs reached 100°, and just 1 degree shy of the all-time record high of 101°.

The average temperature (difference between the overnight low and afternoon high) in Colorado Springs this July was 74.7°, which was 2.3° above normal and the 7th warmest on record. The average high temperature was 89.3°, tied with the 6th warmest average high temperature in July.

In Pueblo, 5 daily record highs were broken on the 10th, 11th, 15th, 18th, and 23rd. The hottest day was 108° on the 23rd, also just 1 degree shy of the all-time record in Pueblo of 109°. The average temperature in Pueblo was 79.1°, 2.5° above normal, and the 10th warmest on record. The average high temperature for July was 96.6° and the 4th warmest on record in Pueblo.

In Denver, the average temperature this July was 78° which is the 2nd warmest on record.

Hello Monsoon!
Colorado's front range as well as the central and southern mountains rely on monsoon flow from the southwest during July (and August) to supply the most moisture of the entire calendar year. Thankfully, the bouts of heat were tempered with periodic rainy periods this month. A combination of the North American Monsoon flow plus cold fronts in eastern Colorado helped increase water vapor and eventually led to heavy rain.

The graphic below estimates how far above normal precipitation was over the past 30 days, derived from radar data. Notable high rain totals were seen along the I-25 corridor and the Front Range, the eastern plains, and the southern mountains. The Colorado Climate Center will likely release an official look at precipitation for July in the coming days.

Precipitation % of normal over the past 30 days

Colorado Springs saw 5.35" of rain, 2.23" above average, tieing with the 5th wettest July on record. The wettest day was the 26th with 1.66" of rain.

Pueblo's July was less notable, with 2.12" at the airport, which is 0.23" above average. Yet, just to the west at the Pueblo reservoir, the sensor picked up 3.58" for the month.

DIA was a dry spot at 0.99" of rain which was 1.15" below average. Yet, the sensor at the Denver Water Department downtown recorded 2.78" in July. Fort Collins saw 3.84", which is 2.21" above average. Akron also saw a lot of rain at 4.34", 1.56" above average.

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