After snowy March, long-range forecast predicts a warmer, drier spring |

After snowy March, long-range forecast predicts a warmer, drier spring

Becky Ditchfield
The Denver Post


DENVER — After a snowier-than-normal March, the long-range forecast shows Colorado could be in for a warmer, drier spring.

This forecast recently came from the Climate Prediction Center and goes through the months of April, May and June.

One thing climate forecasters look to when making their forecasts is La Nina and El Nino — the cyclical, ocean temperature patterns observed in the tropical Pacific.

Currently, La Nina conditions are in place. This means ocean temperatures are cooler than average across the tropical Pacific. When this happens Eastern Colorado tends to see above-average temperatures in winter and in summer.

There’s a little more uncertainty when predicting precipitation. However, Colorado does tend to see slightly drier than normal summers during a La Nina.

The entire state is forecast to see above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation from April through June. But for the next three months, western Colorado has a better chance at getting below normal precipitation, while locations from Denver to the south have a better chance of seeing above-average temperatures.

It’s important to keep in mind these long-range forecasts don’t rule out big storms. They simply state whether overall conditions will fall above or below average.

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