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Spring 2013: What a difference a year makes!

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Source/Author: Natalie Umphlett - High Plains Regional Climate Center 06/03/13

Image © Holly Lussenden

Image © Natalie Umphlett

There was quite a contrast in temperatures between this spring and last. Many locations across the High Plains Region had their warmest spring on record last year, while this year, many of those same locations ranked among the coldest. Spring 2012 was characterized by an early green-up and quick planting due to hot and dry conditions, while spring 2013 had late snows and delayed planting due to cool and wet conditions.

The photographs to the right help illustrate those contrasting conditions in Lincoln, Nebraska. The top photo of an extremely early blooming peony was taken at the end of April 2012. Peonies were not the only early bloomers as most plants were at least 5 weeks ahead of schedule in eastern Nebraska. Meanwhile, the bottom photo shows a late season snow scene taken at the beginning of May 2013. Ultimately, Lincoln received 2.7 inches (7 cm) of snow from this storm and snow was also reported across Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

One of the most interesting contrasts between this spring and last may have occurred in Aberdeen, South Dakota which actually had back to back warmest and coldest springs. 2012’s record warm spring had an average temperature of 50.4 degrees F (10.2 degrees C), while 2013’s record cool spring had an average temperature of just 37.0 degrees F (2.8 degrees C). When compared to normal, the spring of 2012 was 6.8 degrees F (3.8 degrees C) above normal, while the spring of 2013 was 6.6 degrees F (3.7 degrees C) below normal.

 

Check out the table below to see more rankings from across the High Plains Region.

 

Location

2013 Spring Average Temperature (F) / Rank

2012 Spring Average Temperature (F) / Rank

Period of Record

Alamosa, CO

41.3 / 31st coolest

45.7 / 2nd warmest

1906-2013

Colorado Springs, CO

45.9 / 51st coolest*

53.4 / warmest

1894-2013

Denver, CO

45.8 / 19th coolest*

54.3 / warmest 

1872-2013

Grand Junction, CO

51.3 / 34th coolest*

56.3 / 4th warmest*

1893-2013

Pueblo, CO

49.5 / 30th coolest*

55.5 / 2nd warmest*

1888-2013

Concordia, KS

49.8 / 19th coolest

61.4 / warmest

1885-2013

Dodge City, KS

52.2 / 35th coolest*

60.3 / warmest

1874-2013

Goodland, KS

47.6 / 20th coolest*

56.1 / warmest

1895-2013

Salina, KS

52.2 / 11th coolest

62.9 / warmest

1948-2013

Topeka, KS

51.8 / 15th coolest*

63.8 / warmest

1887-2013

Wichita, KS

53.2 / 19th coolest*

64.4 / warmest

1888-2013

Grand Island, NE

47.9 / 32nd coolest*

59.0 / warmest

1895-2013

Lincoln, NE

47.5 / 11th coolest*

59.3 / warmest

1887-2013

Norfolk, NE

45.4 / 8th coolest*

57.4 / warmest

1893-2013

North Platte, NE

46.1 / 35th coolest*

54.7 / warmest

1874-2013

Omaha, NE

47.9 / 21st coolest*

60.6 / warmest

1871-2013

Scottsbluff, NE

46.2 / 39th coolest*

54.4 / warmest

1893-2013

Valentine, NE

44.1 / 35th coolest*

53.4 / warmest

1889-2013

Bismarck, ND

37.4 / 15th coolest

48.5 / warmest*

1874-2013

Fargo, ND

36.2 / 9th coolest*

50.2 / warmest

1881-2013

Grand Forks, ND

33.5 / 6th coolest

47.2 / 3rd warmest

1893-2013

Williston, ND

35.4 / 7th coolest

47.0 / 5th warmest

1894-2013

Aberdeen, SD

37.0 / coolest

50.4 / warmest

1893-2013

Huron, SD

40.0 / 8th coolest

53.5 / warmest

1881-2013

Rapid City, SD

41.8 / 11th coolest*

51.3 / warmest

1942-2013

Sioux Falls, SD

41.4 / 8th coolest

54.4 / warmest

1893-2013

Casper, WY

41.5 / 19th coolest

48.4 / 3rd warmest

1939-2013

Cheyenne, WY

41.0 / 46th coolest

49.3 / warmest

1872-2013

Lander, WY

43.1 / 53rd warmest

49.4 / 2nd warmest

1891-2013

Sheridan, WY

41.9 / 30th coolest*

48.2 / 5th warmest

1907-2013


*indicates tie

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