Hey hey! Guess what?! Snow is in the forecast!!

Yayyyy

I’m pretty excited to be talking snow totals over a dusting or a trace but before I dive into specifics on next week’s possible storm, I want to talk about this dry streak we have been on.

Since December 1st, Denver has received 2.5″ of snow at the Denver-Stapleton reporting station. At Denver Airport, 3.3″ of snow has fallen. There’s a discrepancy because the distance between those two reporting stations is great enough that some snow showers affect one and not the other.

For the sake of staying uniform with the rest of the data, you may see coming out, I’m going to be referencing Denver Airport as my official station for this information.

62-day snow total (12/1-1/31)

So, in the almost 62 days since December 1st, Denver has seen 3.3″ of snow. That comes in as the fourth least amount of snow on record. The last time that is was this dry since December first was back in 1888!! So, needless to say, this has been an abnormal period for us here in Denver and the Front Range.

31-day snow total (1/1-1/31) 

Since January first, there has been 0.5″ of snow that has accumulated at DIA. Typically, in January, we receive about 6.6″ of snow. I just don’t see that happening this year. We do have a minor chance for snow before the month ends but it will provide no more than an inch of snow for us. As of this writing, we are currently holding the number 6 spot for the least snowy January on record. With the possibility of additional minor snow before the month’s end, we could lose this spot but it doesn’t take away from the fact that is has been a rather snowless month.

Season to date snow total for Denver. 

All-in-all, it hasn’t snowed much in awhile BUT we are still running above our average in terms of season total. Thanks to the more than a foot of snow that fell in both October and November, we had a nice buffer that helped us stay above normal as we went into a period of dry conditions. Currently, Denver is sitting about 4 inches about the normal when talking about season total to date.

Forecast

It’s time to talk about our upcoming snow chances because they are looking rather decent at this point. 
What we always look for in the models for Denver to see a lot of snow is a storm that forms and strengthens almost immediately over the Four Corners. That storm, ideally, will then travel almost due east towards Kansas and Oklahoma. What this does is positions Denver in a region of the storm where winds are flowing up the mountains. This is called upslope flow and with a storm that takes that track, or a similar track, it provides the Front Range with a decent shot as seeing accumulating snow. Some of Denver’s biggest snowstorms came from this Upslope flow. 
Timing looks to be in the Monday to Tuesday timeframe. With snow started Monday late-morning and continuing into Tuesday afternoon. Timing could change slightly but models are in pretty good agreement that this will happen Monday to Tuesday. What isn’t quite as clear right now is where this storm will form and what path it will take. That is still to be determined. 

Amounts

Snowfall totals for this upcoming storm will vary and change over the weekend but for now, it looks like several inches of snow is likely. The National Weather Service in Boulder is watching this closely as well saying “The combination of favorable upper-level support, moisture and upslope could add up to several inches of snowfall in the mountains, foothills, Palmer Divide and I-25 corridor by Tuesday morning. Too early for highlights but will watch the period closely. Models appear to have a decent handle on the time but hope better consensus develops regarding snowfall potential but 6-12 inches in 24 hours is not out of the question.” 
We will have to watch this one closely. As for now, dust off the shovels and the snow scrapers. You’ll likely need them again. 

Don’t be fooled! 

Temperatures over the next 10 days. 
Don’t be fooled by the VERY warm weekend we have ahead of us. In typical Denver fashion we will have an amazing weekend of temperatures well into the 60s and maybe even lower 70s with a fair amount of sunshine both days. This will QUICKLY end as a cold front moves in Sunday night. 
~Rain or shine
  I’m Andy Stein 

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