The Arkansas Valley is enduring the driest continuous period in Colorado's history of recorded data, recalling conditions the state's southeastern plains experienced during the Dust Bowl.

The historic rainfall that flooded the Colorado Front Range in September 2013 did little to dampen drought in the state's southeastern plains.

To be consistent with NOAA's use of 30-year periods for the official "climate normals," the National Snow and Ice Data Center switched its baseline period for sea ice analyses from 1979-2000 to 1981-2010.  Compared to the new normal, the low ice conditions of the recent past will appear less abnormal than they used to.

 

Through the first week of September 2013, Colorado was exceptionally warm and dry. By September 12, everything had changed.

A heat wave struck the Midwest in late August and early September 2013. This map shows the hottest temperatures in the United States between August 1 and September 8, 2013, based on data from NOAA's Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis.

In late July and early August, unusually high temperatures dominated Europe, from the Mediterranean Sea northward to Scandinavia and the British Isles.This map shows temperature between July 16 and August 11, 2013, compared to the 1981-2010 average for the same time of year.

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