Colorado’s new climate data shows the state is warming and drying

Andy Stein
For The Denver Post

DENVER — Weather and climate are different. Weather is what happens on a day-to-day basis while climate is what happens over the course of many years.

Daily, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will record official weather conditions from thousands of weather reporting stations across the country and will use that data to monitor and track climate trends.

When your local meteorologist talks about the weather being above or below average, they are referencing NOAA’s data — which undergoes intense verification.

Climate happens on a larger timescale than weather does, so in order to spot trends, normals are updated every 10 years. Well, it’s been 10 years since our climate normals last were updated, and the new normals showed something that most Colorado meteorologists and climatologists have been warning about for quite some time.

Colorado’s climate is warming and drying.

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