It was indeed a wild end to November, don’t you think? From heavy snow to sub-zero temperatures to freezing fog, to snow squall warnings and blizzard warnings. We had just about every type of winter weather occur as we closed out the last November of this decade.
Denver officially received 13.7” of snow during the month of November. That comes in close to a half of a foot OVER what Denver typical receives in November (which is 7.5”). This also comes in as the snowiest November since 1994 when the city picked up 16.9” during the month. It’s not extremely shocking that we experienced the snowiest November in more than two decades – just think, we had four different snow events in November.
Denver picked up snow on; 11/10-11, 11/20-22, 11/25-26, and 11/29. Not to mention the several inches of snow that were already on the ground at the beginning of the month thanks to our big Halloween snowstorm. So, yeah, it has been rather snowy here.
In fact, to date, Denver has received almost half of its yearly snowfall. So far, 26.2” of snow as fallen at Denver International Airport. The season total that we typically expect in a snow season is 57.1”. That means that we have received close to 50% (45% to be exact) of our average annual snowfall! And our snowiest months are still to come! December, March and April are Denver’s snowiest months. That’s when the city averages the most monthly snow. Of those three months, March comes out on top for producing the most snow on average during a month’s time in Denver.
You may remember the bitter cold we had in November as well. The average temperature during the month of November came in at 36.2º F. That is 2.1º F colder than our normal November temperature. We haven’t experienced a November this cold since 2014 – not that long ago – when the average temperature was equivalent to this year. We had 7 days where the temperature didn’t rise above the freezing mark and 1 sub-zero day as well. Although it was a cold month, it didn’t rival any major records.
The cold is something that helped keep our snow around for so long. As you know, step out onto any side street or non-major highway, and you’ll find yourself driving on snow-packed roads more than a week after we had significant snowfall. What gives? Well, clouds and cold air are to blame. Ever since our Pre-Turkey Day snowstorm, there has been a relatively large amount of cloud cover every day. That has helped to keep the Sun’s powerful rays away from melting our roads and sidewalks. Also, and more significantly, Denver has spent the course of a full week below the freezing mark!
Denver dropped below freezing on November 25th around 5:00 PM. From that point up until 8:00 AM on December 2nd, Denver was below freezing! (To note: there was a period of 3 hours during the pre-dawn hours on November 30th where we reached 33º, but it was dark out and no melting occurred). So, a full week of below-freezing temperatures coupled with partly to mostly cloudy skies, an additional dusting of snow and snow-packed streets meant that the snow wasn’t going to go anywhere any time fast.
Good news! The forecast calls for sunshine and warm temperatures in the short term. This will help clear roads of snow and ice. Finally. With that said, there’s also the chance of above-normal precipitation over the next couple of weeks. If moisture lines up with cold – that means frozen precipitation. Let’s wait and see if that happens.
As we continue through December, Denver averages 8.1” of snow. Let’s see if we stick to that because if we apply what we’ve received snowfall wise already this season – it looks like we are trending on the snowier side.
Rain or shine
I’m Andy Stein