Mar 15, 2016

Historical data from western Colorado, Utah show warming trend

Colorado
Utah
USA
by
Dennis Webb
,
The Daily Sentinel
Victoria Westfall of Grand Junction, pushes her son, Isildur Westfall, on the swings at Lincoln Park on a warm afternoon. Photo: Daily Sentinel
Victoria Westfall of Grand Junction, pushes her son, Isildur Westfall, on the swings at Lincoln Park on a warm afternoon. Photo: Daily Sentinel

National Weather Service forecaster Joe Ramey analyzed records from 11 western Colorado and eastern Utah sites all dating back to at least 1911 and finds a notable increase in average minimum weather temperatures consistent with the expectations of climate-change researchers.

National Weather Service forecaster Joe Ramey has analyzed records from 11 western Colorado and eastern Utah sites all dating back to at least 1911, including both valley and higher-elevation communities. He found that while average maximum temperatures per decade haven’t changed much over the last century, average minimum temperatures showed a notable increase. The increase has largely occurred since the 1970s, rising from 28.7 degrees that decade to 31.8 degrees for 2011-15, when that half-decade is included in the comparison.

“That’s what NOAA has been saying for awhile, that we would see larger changes in the minimum temperature, and indeed that’s what I found occurring here,” Ramey said of his local findings.

“It’s data, right. It’s not wisdom, and it’s no projection for the future. … But what I’m seeing at local specific sites in our forecast areas is what seems to fit for what NOAA says for the nation and what IPCC is saying for the planet.”

‘A very simple study’