It was HOT today. No hotter than what we’ve felt at other times this summer but for an early September day…it was hot. The 97º temperature felt on Labor day Monday was 13º above normal and only 4º away from the record of 101º on this day in 2020.

The forecast for not only Denver but much of the state is calling for way above-normal temperatures to stay with us through the week. There’s some relief in sight this weekend but we have several days to go before we get there.

September Heat

From Denver to Colorado Springs to Grand Junction – this early September heatwave will definitely be one for the record books. Let’s break it down.

Grand Junction
The all-time record high temperature for Grand Junction during the month of September is 100º. GJT hit that in 2019 and 1995. On Labor Day, the GJT area once again hit 100º, tying the all-time September high temperature record.

The forecast for GJT over the next week is to hit 100º not once but twice (and maybe even three times) through Thursday. Tuesday, the potential to break the all-time temperature record for September is there.

A bit of a cool down is expected by the weekend but it will only bring temperatures back to near normal.

This type of heat that’s expected through the 10th could mean that the opening 10 days of this month may be the hottest ever felt in the GJT area. The top-3 warmest first 10 days of September shape out like this:

  1. 77.6º (1977)
  2. 77.5º (1995)
  3. 77.4º (2017)

Through the 4th of September, the average temperature this month is sitting at 80.3º. Although we have several more days to go before the 10th, the forecast makes it seem like we’ll have a chart-topping start to this month.

In terms of number of 90º or 100º days. This is how it’s looking

There have been 76 days of 90º+ heat in GJT. The record in a season is 90 (back in 2018). There have been 14 days of 100º+ heat in GJT. The record number of 100º+ days in a season is 22 (which happened back in 2002).

Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs has also been rather warm this month already. Although higher in elevation, COS has seen plenty of heat this year. There have been 29 record reports from 2022. That includes temperatures and precip. Well, of those 29 record reports, 25 of them for heat related. The other 4…record snow reports from the late-season snowstorm.

COS is experiencing a very warm start to September and the first 10 days of this month are looking to be some of the hottest on record. Here are the top-3 warmest first 10 days of September in COS.

  1. 73.1º (2019)
  2. 72.9º (2013)
  3. 72.5º (2021)

Currently, the average temperature for the first few days of the month average to 71.8º. With a hot forecast, that will likely go up a bit.

The saving grace for COS will be a cold front that will move through Friday and will drop temps below average.

Colorado Springs has felt 90º heat 36 times this year. The most ever felt in a season was 52 days back in 2020. COS has seen 1 day of 100º heat. The record number of 100º days in COS is 3 days back in 2012.

For Denver

Denver, oh Denver. Why is thou so hot?!

Denver has essentially been baking this month already. High temperatures have ranged from 89-97º this month. With record-breaking heat expected Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – there’s not going to be much change to what we’ve already felt.

Denver has set 19 weather related records this year. 14 of them have been heat related, 4 of them have been cold related and we’ve had 1 precipitation related record.

As we’ve done for the other cities, let’s talk about the first 10 days of the month. The top-3 hottest for 10 days of September look like this:

  1. 75.5º (2013)
  2. 75.1º (2019)
  3. 74.3º (1933)

As of September 4, our average temperature this month is sitting at a warm 77.3º. The forecast looks hot.

With record-breaking heat forecast – followed by a cool down this weekend – only to then be followed by another ridge of heat, we’re going to have to watch a few things closely. Like the number of 90º+ days we’ve had.

So far this season, Denver has felt 90º heat 61 days so far. The most was 75 days back in 2020. Denver has felt 100º+ heat 5 times this year which sits us nicely in 3rd place for the most 100º days ever behind 2005 (7 days) and 2012 (13 days).

For just September, the most 90º days felt during this month was 9 times which happened 4 different years. We currently have felt 90º+ heat 4 times this month and the forecast looks to bring at least 4 more days of 90º+ heat with more possible in the extended.

The hottest temperature ever felt in Denver during September was 101º which happened Labor Day of 2020. That also marks the date of the latest ever 100º day. Well, we could hit 100º Thursday which would make it the latest ever 100º reading in Denver for any year… (we may even hit 100º on Tuesday.)

A bright and hazy orange sunset silhouettes the Denver, Colorado skyline against the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Prior to 2019, the warmest temperature ever felt during the month of September in Denver was 97º. The 6 warmest temperatures ever felt in September in the Mile High City all happened in the last 4 years. Wow.

Another pretty shocking stat is that Denver has yet to dip below 55º this season. Normally we dip below 55º by August 14. Looks like we’ll dip below 55º on Friday night which would save us from the latest date of occurrence which stands on September 11, 1937.

While Climate Change isn’t causing this heat wave, it’s definitely amplifying it. It’s been shown that the summer season in Colorado is getting longer. While we are expecting a cool down this weekend (more deets on that to come), it won’t last long.

Denver and Colorado Springs are averaging 14-19 more days of above-average temperatures compared to 1970.

In terms of our average temperature for all of Fall (September 1-November 30), those are warming, too.

I’ll leave you with an outlook for September 13-19 which shows a pretty good chance of having above-normal temps.

September is quickly becoming just another month of summer for us here in Colorado.

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