Denver, the iconic mile-high city of the Rocky Mountains, has been experiencing near record level warm temperatures for this time of year. While a pounding snowstorm has swept across northern Midwestern states, dumping enough snow to collapse the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Denver and the Front Range have been experiencing mild and dry weather; warm enough to ride a bike to work.
Normal December day time high temperatures for the area are around 44 degrees. Lately temps for Denver have hovered at a balmy 60 degrees. The record high, set in 1921, was 72 degrees.
“This pattern doesn’t change too much over the next 10 days,” said Bernie Meier, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Boulder. “A strong low-pressure system parked southeast of Denver would help pull cold weather and moisture south into the Colorado plains, but that’s not happening.”
While parts of northeastern Colorado have received 160% of their normal snowfall, ski resorts are already advertising 40″ bases, Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins have only seen “trace” precipitation levels. December snowfall for the area usually averages 8 inches.
Southern Colorado regions including the Front Range are now affected by the current “La Nina” conditions, when the Pacific Ocean’s water temperatures are colder than usual. According to NOAA, (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association), a “La Nina” causes warmer than usual temperatures in the southern parts of the country, while creating colder than usual temperatures in the Northeastern and Midwestern states.
Meteorologists predict more of the same in the near future for the Front Range – unseasonable warm weather without snow.