This report describes the historical weather record at the United States Air Force Academy Airfield (Colorado Springs, United States) during 2012. This station has records back to November 1967.
Colorado Springs, Colorado has a cold semi-arid steppe climate. The area within 25 mi of this station is covered by forests (43%), grasslands (28%), and shrublands (27%)
Daylight saving time (DST) was observed at Colorado Springs, Colorado during 2012. There were two time changes during 2012:
2012 was a leap year and thus has 366 days rather than the normal 365. Leap years occur every fourth year and the extra day is always February 29th. In 2012 February 29th falls on a Wednesday.
The summer and winter solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes mark the passing of the seasons. They fall on nearly the same day each year, with differences of a day or two depending on the year. In 2012 they occurred on:
|Spring Equinox||Tuesday, 20 March 2012.|
|Summer Solstice||Wednesday, 20 June 2012.|
|Fall Equinox||Saturday, 22 September 2012.|
|Winter Solstice||Friday, 21 December 2012.|
The hottest day of 2012 was June 24, with a high temperature of 96°F. For reference, on that day the average high temperature is 83°F and the high temperature exceeds 89°F only one day in ten. The hottest month of 2012 was July with an average daily high temperature of 86°F.
Relative to the average, the hottest day was April 1. The high temperature that day was 78°F, compared to the average of 55°F, a difference of 23°F. In relative terms the warmest month was March, with an average high temperature of 60°F, compared to an typical value of 53°F.
The longest warm spell was from June 22 to July 6, constituting 15 consecutive days with warmer than average high temperatures. The month of June had the largest fraction of warmer than average days with 80% days with higher than average high temperatures.
The coldest day of 2012 was December 9, with a low temperature of -5°F. For reference, on that day the average low temperature is 16°F and the low temperature drops below 5°F only one day in ten. The coldest month of 2012 was December with an average daily low temperature of 15°F.
Relative to the average, the coldest day was December 9. The low temperature that day was -5°F, compared to the average of 16°F, a difference of 21°F. In relative terms the coldest month was October, with an average low temperature of 33°F, compared to an typical value of 33°F.
The longest cold spell was from December 23 to December 31, constituting 9 consecutive days with cooler than average low temperatures. The month of August had the largest fraction of cooler than average days with 61% days with lower than average low temperatures.
The clearest month of 2012 was March, with 97% of days being more clear than cloudy. The longest spell of clear weather was from October 27 to November 26, constituting 31 consecutive days that were clearer than they were cloudy.
The cloudiest month of 2012 was February, with 17% of days being more cloudy than clear.
This station reports both the quantity of liquid precipitation and categorical observations of precipitation (e.g., moderate rain, or heavy snow). Both are subject to erroneous reports, but the former is particularly prone to false reports, especially ones indicating an excessive quantity of precipitation. Please bear this in mind when reading the extrema reported in this section.
The day with the largest quantity of precipitation was February 22. That day saw 9.937" of liquid (or liquid equivalent) precipitation, compared to a median value of 0.032". The month with the most precipitation was February, with 11.709", compared to a median value of 0.583".
As determined by quantitative measurements, the longest dry spell was from January 23 to February 21, constituting 30 consecutive days with no measured precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of dry days was November, with 97% of days reporting no measured precipitation at all.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some measured precipitation was July, with 35% of days reporting some measured precipitation.
This station reports when significant weather events (including precipitation) are visually observed at or near the station. Such events do not always correspond to measured quantities of liquid equivalent precipitation, such as when the event is near by not at the station, or in the case of solid precipitation that does not melt in the collection basin.
The day in 2012 with the most precipitation observations was January 11. There were 8 hourly weather reports that day (out of a maximum of 24) in which some form of precipitation was observated at or near the station. The month with the most precipitation observations was January, with 19 hourly present weather reports involving some form of precipitation.
As determined by the present weather reports, the longest dry spell was from November 11 to December 31, constituting 51 consecutive days with no observed precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of days without observed precipitation was March, with 97% of days reporting no observed precipitation at all.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some observed precipitation was February, with 17% of days reporting some observed precipitation.
In this section we consider only those weather reports that indicate liquid precipitation. For the purposes of this analysis, we include thunderstorms even though some thunderstorms are not accompanied by liquid precipitation.
The month of 2012 with the largest number of those reports was September, with a total of 11 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was September 12, with a total of 7 reports.
This station reports when snow is observed falling but does not report the quantity of snow that has fallen or the depth of snow on the ground.
In this section we consider hourly weather reports that contain an observation of falling snow. These reports do not necessarily correspond to accumulation.
The first reported snow fall in 2012 was on October 5; the last was on May 7. The month of 2012 with the largest number of those reports was January, with a total of 18 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was January 11, with a total of 8 reports.
Humidity is an important factor in determining how weather conditions feel to a person experiencing them. Hot and humid days feel even hotter than hot and dry days because the high level of water content in humid air discourages the evaporation of sweat from a person's skin.
When reading the graph below, keep in mind that the hottest part of the day tends to be the least humid, so the daily low (brown) traces are more relevant for understanding daytime comfort than the daily high (blue) traces, which typically occur during the night. Applying that observation, the least humid month of 2012 was March with an average daily low humidity of 12%, and the most humid month was February with an average daily low humidity of 35%.
But it is important to keep in mind that humidity does not tell the whole picture and the dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find a given set of weather conditions. Please see the next section for continued discussion of this point.
Dew point is the temperature below which water vapor will condense into liquid water. It is therefore also related to the rate of evaporation of liquid water. Since the evaporation of sweat is an important cooling mechanism for the human body, the dew point is an important measurement for understanding how dry, comfortable, or humid a given set of weather conditions will feel.
Generally speaking, dew points below 50°F will feel a bit dry to some people, but comfortable to people accustomed to dry conditions; dew points from 50°F to 68°F are fairly comfortable to most people, and dew points above 68°F are increasingly uncomfortable, becoming oppressive around 77°F.
To take some examples, and basing our categorization on the daily high dew point in 2012, January had 31 dry days, no comfortable days, and no humid days; April had 26 dry days, 4 comfortable days, and no humid days; July had 9 dry days, 22 comfortable days, and no humid days; and October had 31 dry days, no comfortable days, and no humid days.
The highest sustained wind speed was 43 mph, occurring on February 22; the highest daily mean wind speed was 25 mph (February 22); and the highest wind gust speed was 66 mph (February 22).
The windiest month was April, with an average wind speed of 11 mph. The least windy month was August, with an average wind speed of 8 mph.
Visibility is the maximum distance at which a given reference object or light can be clearly discerned. In the United States, visibilities that are greater than or equal to 10 miles are typically reported as 10 miles.
The day of 2012 with the lowest average visibility was February 11, with an average visibility of 3.2 mi. The month with the lowest average visibility was February, with an average visibility of 9.1 mi. With an average visibility of 10.0 mi, the month of August had the highest average visibility.
The cloud ceiling is the altitude of the lowest layer of clouds that are at categorized as broken (mostly cloudy) or overcast (cloudy). If no such cloud layer exists then the ceiling is unlimited and no value is reported.
The day of 2012 with the lowest average cloud ceiling was January 8, with an average cloud ceiling of 98'. The month with the lowest average cloud ceiling was February, with an average cloud ceiling of 1594'. The month of July has the highest average cloud ceiling, with an average cloud ceiling of 11342'.