Many daily record highs for May have been set in the past 10 years — a sign of global warming?
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — If you’ve been patiently waiting for a warmup, you’re time is almost here. By the end of the week, temps could soar into the upper 50s as the polar jet stream pulls back to near the Canadian border.
But first, look for another chance of showers the next 48 hours or so, especially north of I-70, as a weak cold front sags south from Idaho, dropping highs on Wednesday by about 5 degrees.
Once that system passes, the outlook is for a relatively dry scenario across the area through the first part of the weekend, with the forecast beyond that indicating the chance for another stronger system to dig into the West for the start of next week, but the models are still a bit muddled.
For the second half of this week, some waves of energy passing through the building high pressure ridge could even trigger some convective showers across part of the high country.
Some specifics: Highs today through Thursday in the mid-40s, climbing into the upper 50s on Friday and Saturday as the flow switches to the southwest. Lows throughout the period should be in the upper 20s, just about average for this time of year.
Frisco’s average high for the first week of May is 52 degrees and the average lows are in the mid-20, but the temps this time of year have soared as high as the mid-70s — 75 degrees on may 5, 1916, to be exact. The record low for the first week of May is minus 8 degrees, set on May 4, 1944.
May is the month with the biggest temperature surge, as the average high climbs from 51 degrees on May 1 all the way to 62 degrees by the last day of the month. The all-time record high (in Frisco) for the month is 80 degrees, set on May 31, 2002, during the 500-year drought.
Many of May’s daily record highs have been set in the past decade, which may be an indicator of local global warming impacts. Those readings include daily record highs in the mid- to upper 70s on May 28, 29 and 30, all set in 2003, and daily record high of 75 degrees on May 24, set in 2005. More daily records were set in 2005 on May 21 and 22.
Many other record daily highs were set in the 1940s, but they are all about 4 to 5 degrees lower than the records set in the early 2000s.
Do you know what the all-time record high for Summit County is, at least according to the official National Weather Service records kept by Denver Water staff in Dillon?
Dave Fernandez, of Denver WateChr, was kind enough to share an updated spread sheet with some interesting weather stats. Check it out here: