Denver's biggest snow storm hit 106 years ago today

Every once in a while it snows a lot in Denver, and on rare occasions, it absolutely gets buried.

Denver and areas of the Front Range to the mountains were buried in snowfall 106 years ago.

Between December 1 and 5, 1913, Denver received 45.7 inches of snow. Even after more than one hundred years, it remains Denver's largest single snowfall event. The next closest was the blizzard of 2003 when 31.8" of snow was recorded at Denver International Airport, nearly 14 fewer inches than in 1913. Source: Denver Public Library.

Denver was not the only location to experience record snowfall during this four-day event. Georgetown, 50 minutes west of Denver, "took the cake" recording an incredible 86 inches over the same period. Estes Park recorded 53 inches, while Boulder ended up with just a couple inches fewer than Denver at 43.75 inches.

The storm, and a few other snowfall events after, kept at least one inch of snow on the ground for 60 consecutive days, which is 3rd longest in Denver's recorded history.

One of our favorite parts about exploring this historic storm is digging up local media coverage of the event.

The Denver Post, one of the city's two major papers at the time, was absolutely filled with gems. On the morning of the 5th, the headline read "Denver in Mantle of Shimmering White Stops Activity and Everybody Jollifies." The section under "What the Snow Did, Is Doing and Will Do!" outlined interruptions to the telegraph, telephone, railroads, and streetcars (yes, Denver had one of the most extensive streetcar networks in the country at one point). In all, it seems as though the great Queen City of the West took this storm with stride, as "gloom-chasers" took to the street to shout what a privilege it was to live in Colorado.

If you are interested in learning more about this record snowfall, the National Weather Service in Boulder has additional resources on this storm, including an excellent cartoon with reactions from "the city," "in the suburbs" and "on the farm."

Denver Public Library

Denver Blizzard 1913 | Denver Public Library

There are other notable December storms. The Christmas Eve storm in 1982 dropped 23.8 inches. And, the December 20 to 21st storm in 2006 dropped 20.7 inches.

Weather5280

This is a collaborative post from multiple authors at Weather5280.

Denver, Colorado
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