April is typically a pretty wet month in and around Denver but this April was anything but. Instead of this month featuring our normal late-season snows, April featured hot, dry and windy conditions with fire danger present almost every day.
April normally brings the Denver area 8.8″ of snow and 1.68″ of rain. This month, Denver has picked up a trace (T) of snow. Snow is measured in tenths of inches and a trace of snow is defined as less than half that amount. So, if we were to get very picky, Denver has picked up less than 0.05″ of snow this April.
There are 13 other years in Denver’s weather history (which dates back to the 1870s) where the city has picked up a trace or less of snow during the month. The most recent time this has happened was back in 2002 when there was a trace of snow reported. There are only 3 years in Denver’s weather history where 0.00″ of snow was reported. Ultimately, there is not a major difference between getting 0.00″ of snow and 0.05″ of snow so we are in rare company when it comes to the amount of snow we’ve gotten this month.
For rainfall, 0.01″ of rain accumulated in Denver so far this April. A big deficit compared to the normal 1.68″ that we should normally get. With just 0.01″ of precipitation adding up this month – and with a tough forecast before month’s end – we will likely end this month as the driest April ever.
We have a weak storm that’s expected to swing by the state Friday to Saturday. Current forecasts are showing a low 20% chance of rain showers in Denver on Friday, which if we somehow are able to squeeze a few light rain showers out of the atmosphere, we could get bumped from the No. 1 driest April. April of 1963 currently holds the No. 1 spot for the driest on record with just 0.03″ of rain. It sounds a bit dramatic but it’s true, we’ll need to triple the amount of moisture we’ve already gotten this month in order to lose our current spot. That’s a testament to just how dry it’s been.
Denver started April under abnormally dry conditions which it technically not an official drought. As of the April 19th update, Denver is back under moderate drought status with worsening conditions likely.
According to the newly released one-month forecast from the Climate Prediction Center, May is expected to bring warmer and drier than normal conditions to Colorado. Fire season is well and alive already so make sure you stay prepared for the could-be.