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Research / Discovery

Weather cold, but not brutal at most National Western Stock Shows of the past, says state climatologist

January 13, 2010

If the National Western Stock Show is in town, there's an 80.7 percent chance there will be no snowfall and only a 23.9 percent chance that temperatures will be less than or equal to 35 degrees.

Analyzed daily temps during past 61 years

There’s only a 9.1 percent chance that the weather will be below 25 degrees, which probably surprises people, said Nolan Doesken, Colorado State University state climatologist.

Doesken and his team at the Colorado Climate Center analyzed daily temperature averages during the past 61 years that show most days between Jan. 10 and Jan. 25 have temperatures of 36 degrees or higher. Doesken analyzed National Weather Service temperatures taken between Jan. 10 and Jan. 25 at the former Stapleton airport site between 1948 and 2009.

Based on those statistics, there’s only a 0.6 percent chance that more than 10 inches of snow will accumulate during that time period, but a 44.3 chance that more than an inch will accumulate.

The truth

“People love to talk about ‘stock show weather’ and the cold temperatures, but the truth is, the stock show doesn’t set any records for cold,” Doesken said.

Fun statistics about stock show weather during the past 61 years:

  • The coldest day was minus 25 degrees on both Jan. 11, 1963 and Jan. 12, 1963.
  • The warmest day was 73 degrees on Jan. 22, 2009.
  • The most snow was 10.1 inches that fell on Jan. 15, 1987.

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
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