Climate Change in Colorado
Climate Change in Colorado


Executive Summary

Data and graphics



This report is a synthesis of climate science relevant for management and planning for Colorado's water resources. This is an update from the 2014 report which focused on observed climate trends, climate modeling, and projections of temperature, precipitation, snowpack, and streamflow. In this update, the observed record is expanded. Additionally, it focuses on the release of new climate models and how they compare to the models used in the 2008 and 2014 reports.

For this third Climate Change in Colorado, we cover a similar scope to the previous two reports. The core mission of the report is to describe recent trends in Colorado’s climate and hydrology and interpret the model-based projections of future climate and hydrology. Proportionately more of this report is devoted to extreme climate-driven events–including heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods–than the previous reports. The overall societal impacts of climate change will be driven by changes in these extreme events as well as by changes in the average climate.

Chapter 2 provides analysis of observed and projected trends in temperature and precipitation. Chapter 3 provides analysis of observed and projected trends in Colorado’s water, including snowpack, streamflow volume and timing, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration. Chapter 4 focuses on hazards and extremes. When possible, quantitative analysis of observed and projected trends is included, otherwise a qualitative assessment of trends and possible future projections is included. The Appendix provides supplemental information on the observational climate dataset and the climate model projections used in the report.

Citing this report

Bolinger, R.A., J.J. Lukas, R.S. Schumacher, and P.E. Goble, 2024: Climate Change in Colorado, 3rd edition. Colorado State University,


GitHub Repository

Here you will find all the data and code used to generate figures and tables in the report. The repository is broken down by chapter, and filenames are labeled with the relevant figure number in the report.

Directory of Figures

Directory containing all figures from the report. Filenames include figure number and brief description for clarity.

Colorado Climate Normals

Explore normal temperature, precipitation, and snowfall for stations around Colorado, based on the 1991-2020 normals calculated by NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.
Data used in Figure 2.1

Colorado's Climate at a Glance

Using data from NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, this page provides a variety of maps and interactive graphs to look at Colorado's monthly historical climate, trends, and variability.
Data used in Table 2.2

Climate Division Historical Trends

Look through the entire suite of temperature and precipitation trends maps for Colorado's eleven alternate climate divisions.
Data and maps from Figures 2.4 and 2.11

Trends by Division and Season

These interactive tables highlight the trends in temperatures for each 3-month period, for every alternate climate division.


Report Download

Download a PDF of the full report, the executive summary, and a 1-pager (front-back) flyer.

Colorado assessment and planning resources

Here you will find a list of prior assessments and plans for the state related to climate change. Also includes regional, national, and international assessments.

A user guide to climate change portals

This comprehensive resource, developed by the Aspen Global Change Institute, is designed to help people and communities access and effectively use climate change data.

NOAA-NCEI Climate at a Glance

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information provides Climate at a Glance data at state, county, and climate division scales. Temperature and precipitation data are monthly and available back to 1895.
Climate at a Glance data used for Figures 1.1, 2.2, and 2.10

Full Report 2-page Layout (PDF)
Full Report Pages View (PDF)

Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - Temperature and Precipitation
Chapter 3 - Water
Chapter 4 - Hazards and Extremes
Appendix - About the data

Executive Summary 2-page Layout (PDF)
Executive Summary Pages View (PDF)

Executive Summary Online