The 2019/202 snow season in Denver and along the Front Range will be categorized overall as an above-normal season. This season, we were bookended by big time snowstorms. Let’s look at the storms we were impacted by and the season totals that pushed one Front Range city into their snowiest season on record.
If you want to see season totals for the Front Range Cities and skip the recap, scroll down to “Front Range Season Totals.”
This season, for some, was one for the record books. For others, it was a pretty normal season in terms of snowfall totals but this winter was kind of strange. We started the season with some very big snows, then went to a period where there was barely any and then we ended the season with more big snows. Even with the 2-month lull most of us saw, we still reached our normal threshold for snow which proves those other months were notable.
Long, Long Ago – Back in October
So October was a crazy weather month for Denver and the Front Range. We saw two shots of VERY cold air. The first shot of cold air brought our temperatures from 83-degrees on the 9th, to 13-degrees on the 10th. We saw 1″ of snow as well.
Then came the second shot of cold air. This one brought us from 76-degrees on the 26th to 17-degrees on the 27th. But this cold was different – it stuck around. From the night of the 26th, Denver stayed below freezing until the afternoon of the 31st. We went almost a full 5 days without getting above freezing. And there was snow with this one. A lot of snow.
October ended with 12.5″ of snow accumulating at DIA. It was Denver’s 12th snowiest October on record. We had a White Halloween.
Season total so far: 12.5 inches
Not That Long Ago In November
November was nothing short of different than October – though, it was arguably worse.
We had 9 days where snow was observed. We saw 3 notable temperature drops (>40º difference between days) and had a 4-day stretch of temperatures staying below the freezing mark coincidentally lining up with the Thanksgiving Holiday. We had a White Thanksgiving. The lowest temperature we felt in November was -2º F on the morning of the 27th.
November ended with more than a foot of snow as 13.7 inches was measured for the month. Meteorologists and weather lovers were getting excited for a possible banner snow season.
Season total so far: 26.2 inches
Dudd December and Just A bit January
December was boring. We saw less than 3 inches of snow this entire month. We picked up the bulk of this months snow in between Christmas and New Years.
We did have some decent cold outbreaks as well. We got down to 3 degrees on the 29th and 30th with lasting cold to New Years.
January was even drier. We didn’t even receive and inch of snow for the entire month. There were several days of snow that was falling but it was never enough to stick or amount to anything.
Season total so far: 29.9 inches
The snow returned in February as we more than doubled our monthly normal amount of snow. We had 16 days on which snow was reported.
We had amazing warmth in the beginning of the month with the mid-70s making us feel so great. And then we had our coldest air of the season occur. -5º was felt on two days – the 4th and the 5th and we had numerous days with lows in the single digits.
16.5 inches of snow fell throughout the month leading to another above average ranking.
Season total so far: 46.4″
March, normally our snowiest month of the season, was meh. We had a rather warm March with many days getting into the 60s. Our average temperature for the entire month ended more then 2-degrees higher than normal.
We did have a decent snowstorm. On the 19th, a snowstorm dumped at least a half a foot of snow on the city. We had several days with an inch or less of snow reported.
Season total so far: 53.9″
Amature April – For Some. Awesome For Others
April, our second snowiest month of the season ended sub-par.
Temperatures we’re chilly this month although we felt our first 80-degree day of the year this month. Temperatures ran just over a degree cooler than normal.
We has measurable snow on 4 days. The month ended with a total of 3.7 inches being reported.
This month will not be remember for it’s snow in Denver but in Boulder, where they received more than 3 feet (!!) of snow during the month of April, it will very much so be remembered. Because of this late season storm, Boulder ended up with more snow during a snow season than any other year on record. A very big feat to accomplish. Boulder’s snow season total stands at 151.2 inches!
Season total for Denver so far: 57.6 inches
Denver’s normal season total: 57.1 inches.
And that brings us to May
During the month of May, a total of 1.7 inches of snow is normal. We have received no snow this month which makes our season end with 57.6 inches of snow. Ever so slightly above our long-term average of 57.1 inches.
Many, many places received more snow than Denver. As is typical. You receive more snow on average the closer you get to the mountains and the higher up you go in elevation.
Front Range Season Totals
What I find most from this map above is that is was a pretty banner year for snow in northeast Colorado. Multiple locations saw their top 10 snowiest seasons and quite a few others saw their top 20 snowiest seasons.
Boulder, CO – 151.2″ – Snowiest Season on Record
Estes Park, CO – 100.3″ – Top 10 Snowiest Seasons
Wheat Ridge, CO – 100.2″ – Top 10 Snowiest Seasons
Denver/Stapleton – 71.4″ – Top 20 Snowiest Seasons
Georgetown, CO – 110.2″ – Top 10 Snowiest Seasons
Loveland, CO – 90.5″ – Top 10 Snowiest Seasons
Fort Collins, CO – 73.8″ – Top 10 Snowiest Seasons
So, everything you have read thus far has been snow stats from Denver International Airport – where official weather records for Denver are kept. Seeing a map like the one above should put into perspective why it’s frustrating sometimes to have an official reporting station so far (30+ miles) away from the city center. The difference in what will go down in the history books for the snow season in Denver, Colorado if more than a foot different than what most Denverites experienced. And the difference gets greater the further west you get.
Overall, it was a very snowy year for most of the lower elevations. The higher elevations saw just about normal snowfall.
What was this winter like in your eyes?
~ Rain or Shine
I’m Andy Stein