Denver7 | WeatherWeather News


Denver just broke its average annual precipitation record – and we’re only halfway through the season

National Weather Service officials said Denver has also had its wettest June since records began in 1872
Posted: 2:42 PM, Jul 05, 2023
Updated: 2023-07-06 12:35:11-04
denver rain may 11 2023.jpg

DENVER – If it feels like it’s rained a lot lately, you’re not wrong. In fact, it’s rained so much over the past several weeks that Denver has broken several precipitation records – and we’re only halfway through severe weather season.

On Tuesday – Independence Day – the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boulder reported Denver had surpassed its average annual precipitation of 14.48 inches with an additional 0.48 inches by nightfall. By Wednesday morning, that number was at 15.2 inches.

And we still have two months to go until severe weather season is truly over for the Denver metro.

“We’re still far from the end of the year so we're not quite near annual records yet (which are measured from October through September), but that's certainly possible as we head into the next few months,” said Bruno Rodriguez, a meteorologist with the NWS in Boulder. “Usually by the same time this year, we usually will have picked up around seven inches of rain and we are running a little over double that at this point.”

But annual average precipitation wasn’t the only record broken by our recent downpours.

Denver has also recorded its wettest June on record, as well as its wettest May and June combined, with 11.63 inches of precipitation recorded between those two months – nearly 2 inches more than the previous record set nearly 150 years ago, in 1876, according to historical NWS data.

“Certainly, so far – and especially as far as the kind of late spring and early summer period is concerned – we are way, way up there in the records,” Rodriguez said.

So much so, in fact, that this season is now among the Top 10 wettest summers for Denver (we’re currently ranked 7 with 12.41 inches of precipitation recorded since May 1). It’s now up to Mother Nature to decide if we’ll end up in the Top 5 when severe season’s over for the Denver area by the end of August.

wettest summers on record in denver.png

While a curse for some, the amount of rain we’ve gotten over the past several weeks is good news for our state’s drought and for Colorado’s wildfire outlook.

Data from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows Colorado is entirely drought-free – the first time it’s been this way since 2019, according to Rodriguez, with only 1.89% of the state reporting “abnormally dry” conditions for the period ending June 27.

“That's some great news as far as wildfire danger, especially in the short-term,” Rodriguez said. “At least for the next few weeks, and likely months as well, we're going to be looking at a below normal wildfire danger, especially for the foothills and the plains, which is where the largest precipitation anomalies have been found over the past few months.”

Denverites may be getting tired of the rain but Rodriguez said all of it is just a reminder that we live in a pretty active area as far as weather is concerned.

“It’s something you always have to be cognizant of,” he said. “You need to stay weather-aware and make sure that you’re on top of the forecast, especially if you’re planning any outdoor activities.”

Denver just broke its average annual precipitation record – and we’re only halfway through the season

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.