Climate
How February snows have helped shape Colorado's 2019 - 2020 snow season
It's been a roller coaster winter for Colorado, and February was certainly no exception. January was warm and dry, and many people feared it signaled the end of winter and beginning of drought. But after a gloriously beautiful spring-like beginning to February, the "mild switch" was turned off. Take a look at this graph of daily temperatures compared to average for Fort Collins. While both January and February are part of winter, the long-term trend indicates that February is usually warmer tha
Climate
A look at Christmas Day extremes
Christmas is coming up, and usually, the question on everyone's mind is, "Will we have a White Christmas?" You've likely already read or seen several different articles addressing the statistical probability of snow on Christmas, including here on Weather5280. With a ridge of high pressure moving across the middle of the country, it's more likely that many people will experience a sunny and mil
Year in Review
The weather and climate stories that shaped the last decade in Colorado
With 2019 coming to a close, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the most significant weather and climate stories from Denver and across Colorado over the last ten years. The one that first came to my mind was the 2013 floods, but quickly we had a list of events much longer than we've even included here. The last decade was marked by many warm years, catastrophic floods and fires, and plenty of variability in snow and ice from year to year. Oh, and of course plenty of beautiful, sunny
Climate
Denver's top December snowstorms on record
December is historically Denver's third snowiest month which averages 8.1 inches of snowfall. There have been some noteworthy years for snowfall this month, including the Christmas storm in the early 80s. Here we take a look at the top storms in December: #3. 20.7" December 20th to 21st, 2006 This storm was one of the biggest challenges to the city's "new" Denver International Airport and was a catalyst for changes in the airport's operations and procedures [https://www.internationalairportre
Snow
Top 10 snowiest Novembers for Denver, select Front Range cities
Denver's long-running average is 7.5 inches of snow in November. This makes it the cities 5th snowiest month on average, behind December, February, March, and April. Denver International Airport, where official records are currently kept (and have been since 2005) averages 3.3 inches, meanwhile, Stapleton (1948-2018) averages 8 inches. Other sites: * Fort Collins (1894-2018) averages 6.8 inches. * Boulder (1893-2018) averages 11.2 inches. * Castle Rock/Sedalia (1959-2018) averages 10.5 inch
Snowfall Totals
Third snowiest October for Stapleton, 4th Boulder, 5th Colorado Springs
Given no snow is expected today, the month will close at 12.5 inches of snowfall for Denver which is 12th highest of all 'official' Denver Octobers. That stat does compare several snowfall measurement sites, so let's see how it really compares. First, this October ranks 12th in Denver's official record: Since this monthly total was measured at DIA, let's compare this to DIA's period of record for October snow totals: This year is 2nd to 2009 in DIA's short history of snowfall reports. L
Climate
Does above-average October snowfall indicate an above-average snow season to come?
The official snowfall total for Denver this October is 12.5". Measurements are taken at Denver International Airport , some 20 miles away from downtown Denver. At Stapleton, the tally for the month is 15.7", with 20.2" recorded at our station on Denver's west side. All in all, an impressive snowy month across the area for the first time in years, and the first time in a decade, the city has recorded 10" or more of snow in t
Climate
Denver Sets Two New Record Lows, Two-Day Drop is Second Greatest On Record
The temperature before midnight last night dropped to 13°F at Denver International Airport, setting a new record low for the date for Denver. The previous record low was 17°F set back in 2009. This morning, DIA dropped to 9°F (single digits?!) smashing the old record low for October 11th of 22°F set back in 1946. So far this month we have set two new record lows. Denver has set five record lows in 2019, vs six record highs. Here's a look at our turbulent start to October, compared to our prev
Climate
Colorado May Have Broken Its All-Time High Temperature Record in July
Colorado’s all-time record high temperature may have fallen in July. A 115-degree reading was taken near Las Animas in southeast parts of the state. If and when verified, it’s set to best the old mark of 114 degrees. It was something of an accidental finding, a reminder that every now and then the Internet shows us why we all thought it was awesome in the first place. I was playing with some data from the Applied Climate Information System (ACIS), as I often do, when I came across it. In this c
Climate
Two-Year Snowfall Slump in Rare Company for Denver as We near the End of 2018
I understand that we typically measure seasonal snowfall totals (September - May) rather than annual, but given we're not even halfway through this season, let's take a quick look at how annual snowfall since January 2017 in Denver stacks up against previous years. 2017 was the least snowy year on record (dating back to 1882) for Denver. At just 17.2" on the year, it nudged out 1887 (18.9") as least snowiest, with 1888 coming in as a close third at 21.5". Remarkably, Denver has only recorded le
Weather Stats
A Lack of Precipitation at Denver International Airport This Summer
Depending on who you ask, it's either been a very wet or very dry summer. Often enough, there's good reason for this: we see huge variations in precipitation totals across very small geographic areas along the Front Range and eastern plains, especially during the summer months. Sometimes, it's simply a matter of perception –– I don't think of June and July being particularly wet around here, but thanks to a few good storms, our weather station actually ran above average over these two months. I
Colorado Weather
Heat Burst Hits Northeastern Colorado Thursday Morning
Post via kdvr.com / @MattMakens a member of the Pinpoint Weather Team for KDVR/KWGN. Northeastern Colorado jumped from the 70s to the 90s in a matter of moments in the early morning hours Thursday. Hot temperatures Wednesday afternoon fueled very few thunderstorms, but those storms that did form had very strong wind. Microbursts were reported from Parker to Boulder and DIA and also on the plains. > Photos of microburst damage in Parker from Joanna K.. Peak winds would have been 50mph+ just b
Snowpack
Perspective on Colorado's Snowpack: Is There A Downward Trend?
Matt Makens is a KWGN Pinpoint Meteorologist and occasional contributor to Weather5280 from Denver's Pinpoint weather team. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It's the time of year when we look at the snowpack numbers to climb, and hopefully stay near to above average for water resources, fire danger, and the economy; so far, so good. Here is the average snowpack chart for Colorado showing a nearly normal curve until th
Weather Stats
Powderful Statistics: Exploring Denver's Snowy Side
I recently wrote about the lack of September snowfalls in Denver since 2000. A couple of things became clear shortly after publishing: 1) Weather5280 readers love their snow (but we already knew this), and 2) snowfall stats are fun to explore, debate, and discuss. So, let's take it a bit of a deeper dive today, and dig into Denver's snowfall history, trends, and other fun snowy stats. Seasonal snowfall averages and trends First, here's a c
Denver Weather
The September Snows I Used to Know
There are many things I remember from my childhood that I've come to realize later in life the reality of which is perhaps a bit skewed, or embellished. One memory I have of growing up is that it would sometimes snow in September in Denver, perhaps it's even fair to say it would often snow in September. As it turns out, this memory isn't all that wrong. Denver hasn't seen more than a trace of snow in September since 2000 when 0.2" of snow fell on the city. You have to go back to 1999 to find
Weather Stats
Least Snowy March on Record for Denver; Season Least Snowiest to Date as Well
Weather5280 was started with the hopes and dreams of communicating epic snows and working exhaustively on continuous snowfall projections. That's still the dream. Like the Seven Dwarfs, the seven of us continue marching along. The march was slow in March, and has been all winter. With only 19.3 inches of snowfall measured to date, this snowfall season is the least snowy ever recorded through March. Recorded snowfall goes back to 1882 for Denver. Since that time, the city has recorded as muc
Christmas Snow
Dreaming Of A White Christmas in Denver?
A white Christmas in Denver is not rare, but certainly not common either. Historically, 38% of Christmas Days have had snow on the ground and only 15% have had snow falling. This year could beat those odds with two chances of snow the week leading up to Christmas Day, and our recent snowfall to boot. For some perspective, here are the top snow totals of snow that fell on Christmas: * 2007 - 7.8" * 1894 - 6.4" * 2014 - 3.4", * 2015 - 2.3", * 1912 - 1.7". Clearly, Christmas isn't really k
Weather Stats
Denver's Snowless Fall Closes in on Record Delay
As of Tuesday, Denver remains snowless on the season, which is only the 13th time the city has not recorded snowfall in August, September, and October since 1882. Although there are a few storm systems to move through the next seven days, there doesn't appear to be much of a sign of snow for the city. In the previous ten years, the city has waited for a measurable snowfall into November on four other occasions. * 2015: November 5th * 2014: November 11th * 2013: October 18th * 2012: Octobe
Weather Stats
Rainfall Deficit Climbing for Denver
For many of us, summer conditions have dried us out greatly. Denver is now over 2" drier than average this summer, and nearly 1" drier than average for the year. This is not only the case for Denver but much of Colorado. Coming into summer there was a nice moisture surplus thanks to our heavy snowfalls to end winter and this spring. Here is the spring-time moisture across the country (we will focus on Colorado and Denver for the purpose of this post). Three of the five climate divisions of th
Weather Stats
It's Not Just You, This Summer's Been Hot Across Northeast Colorado
We're nearly two thirds of the way through meteorological summer (June 1 – August 31), and so far, 2016 has been a very warm summer indeed. While not record-breaking, if you've been complaining about the heat, here are some hot numbers to back you up. The mean temperature through the July 26th is sitting at 73.2°F, the warmest mean temperature we have seen for the period since 2012 (which was remarkably warmer at 76.8°F). Since 1972, this is the 10th warmest June 1 to July 26 period on record f
Weather Stats
100-Degree Days Aren't All That Common for Denver
I received a follow-up question to my 90-degree article a few weeks back asking for the history of 100-degree weather in Denver. One hundred degree temperature readings do happen in Denver, but aren't typically all that common for the city. Denver averages just two 100-degree days each year – Denver International Airport (DIA) is the official weather reporting station for the city [/blog/2015/03/26/why-denvers-official-weather-s
Denver Weather
Hot Weekend Ahead as Stretch of 90s Continues
Denver's hottest day of the year so far has been 90°, which has happened three times to date: June 10, 11, and today. After another day well into the 90s today for many metro area locations, temperatures will remain in the outlook for the next several days. This 'streak' will likely end Monday when we cool a bit, but this break may be short-lived. With the arrival of the 90s, I felt it time to review how many 90 degree days we typically see in Denver each year to put thin
Seasonal Review
Weather5280's 2015-2016 Snow Season Forecast Review
Well, we've made it. May is finally here, and (even with our recent chilly weather) our snowfall chances decrease markedly with each passing day as we head deeper into the month and on into June. On average, Denver sees 1.7" of snow in May, which makes the month the city's second least-snowiest month of the snowy season behind September (1.0" average). While we still see a few models producing snowfall at higher elevations on Denver's south and west ends at times, the threat for any significant
Colorado Snowpack
A Look Back at March 2016; Mountain Snowpack Update
March featured one of Denver's biggest blizzards in years , and huge snowfall totals for the north-central mountains, but featured warmer than normal temperatures across the state, and very dry conditions across southern Colorado. Precipitation As is usually the case, the precipitation map for March was split. In this case, there was above normal precipitation across northern Colorado and below normal precipitation
Weather Stats
Denver's Snowiest Februaries on Record
As January comes to a close, and we track the potential for snow during the first days of February across eastern Colorado, let's take a quick look at some snowfall statistics for February in Denver. On average, February is Denver's fourth snowiest month, coming after March , April , and December, with 7.7" on average. Th