SUMMIT COUNTY — While a cool monsoon pattern prevailed across the high country for at least parts of August, it was different story east of the Continental Divide, according to the National Weather Service, where Denver recorded its all-time hottest August on record, with an average temperature of 77 degrees for the month. That may not sound so hot but remember, that reading is the average of all highs and lows for the entire month. The previous record, 76.8 degrees, was set in the Dust Bowl era, back in 1937.
It was also the sixth-hottest month in the Mile High City, with the hottest August on record way back in July 1934, with an average temperature of 77.8 degrees.
The near-record readings came courtesy of a sustained string of warm days, and not just from a few extreme spikes. Through Aug. 31, Denver recorded 71 consecutive days with temperatures climbing above 80 degrees. The previous record streak for 80-degree-plus days was 59 days, set during the epic 2002 drought year.
August 2011 also tied the record for the most days with 90-degree days (22, tied with 1995 and 1960). Daily record highs and minimum highs were tied or set seven times during August, including a 99-degree reading on July 25, breaking a record set in 1913. Record highs were also set on July 24 and July 28.
Currently, sea-surface temperatures are near average in the Pacific, indication neutral conditions between El Niño and La Niña. According to the National Weather Service, historical records suggests a tendency toward slightly below average precipitation during those “ENSO-neutral” conditions.
The latest outlook for September-October-November from the Climate Prediction Center generally calls for above average temperatures, and an undeterminable or equal chance of above, below and near normal precipitation.