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NOAA says hotter-than-normal temperatures possible for much of US this summer, including Colorado

Summer Heat Trends
Posted at 6:44 PM, May 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-22 20:44:21-04

BOULDER, Colo. — While temperatures may be more bearable in Colorado now, Paul Schlatter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder says things will likely heat up a lot this summer.

“It just seems like every summer is getting hotter and hotter,” said Schlatter.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting 2023 could likely be one of the Top 10 warmest years on record in much of the U.S. and possibly, we may even have readings approaching the Top 5, according to scientists.

“With climate change impacting just global temperatures, things are getting a little warmer incrementally every year. So eventually you're going to keep breaking records,” said Schlatter, who predicted that there would be normal levels of precipitation this year, despite the warming climate.

While Schlatter said southwest Colorado could be drier than normal, future predictions show temperatures may not heat up until after June.

“The mean high is 80. That's actually far below normal by mid-June,” said Schlatter, who explained that relative calm may translate to a calmer fire season this year. “(We're) well above normal (precipitation) for winter, the spring... we're above normal for precipitation, so it's going to delay the start of fire season,” said Schlatter.

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Coloradans should expect average wildfire activity for late spring, early summer

Stephanie Butzer
3:27 PM, Apr 25, 2023

Boulder resident Matthew Warren can relate.

“That was like that two years ago. We had a really hot August. It was hot and smoky the entire month,” said Warren.

While predictions point to a milder June, experts said that doesn't mean we won't see wildfires popping up across the state.

"If the summer gets really hot and dry that vegetation dries out, that gives us more fuel to potential forest fires,” said Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science at MSU Denver Thomas Bellinger.

It’s news Carrie Nostrand of Denver doesn't want to hear.

“It is a little discouraging,” said Nostrand. “Affects my summer because I love being outside.”

Experts said hot weather can also impact our health and the way we live. It can cause heat stroke, heat exhaustion and more people using air conditioning, which puts more pressure on the power grid. So, important to take necessary precautions like staying hydrated.

New predictions for a hotter than normal year, fire season in Colorado

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