Colorado faces less impact from warmer winters

Climate change is not taking as much of a toll on Colorado as in other regions, but the impacts are still present.
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 3:02 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Winter in the United States is getting warmer. Climate data show that every region from the Rocky Mountains to the east coast has warmed by an average of one to four degrees since 1970.

However, part of Colorado is showing the least amount of winter change. New data published by the Colorado Climate Center shows that, overall, winter on the Front Range has not significantly changed over the last 40 years— just a half a degree warmer.

St. Louis, MO, has seen an almost six degree increase in winter temperatures.

State Climatologist Russ Schumacher says that the Front Range sees an extremely cold winter just often enough to offset warming trends. “We know that living in Colorado, we are prone to big variations in the weather and that’s just a natural part of our geography and our climate here,” said Schumacher.

Schumacher says that the offset is mostly because weather patterns that alter the jet stream have more of an impact on the Front Range during the winter months than they do any other time of year.

But, Schumacher says that the Front Range is still warming annually due to dramatic temperature increases in the summer and fall. Climate change is expected to continue those trends.

“As we put heat into the Earth’s system, it’s going to continue to get warmer. Now, how that plays out year to year can be very complicated but say decade to decade, that’s where there’s very high confidence that the trend is going to continue to go upward.