The Denver Chron:
A seemingly endless snow season has befallen Denver, where flakes first flew in early September and fell again late Monday into Tuesday. A few inches of snow coated much of the area Tuesday morning.
The snow mostly stuck on grassy spots and led to few problems, extending one of the area’s longest snow seasons on record, spanning 245 days.
The first flakes of the season fell in the city on Sept. 8, when an inch fell just one day after it posted blistering high temperatures in the 90s. It was the first measurable September snow since 1994.
While small amounts of snow fell in October (4 inches), November (5 inches) and January (7 inches), it was not until February that Denver really started to get dumped on.
“Seems like in February things seemed to turn around,” said Jim Kalina, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Boulder, Colo. “February [with 13.5 inches of snow], March [34 inches] and April [12.6 inches] were all above normal.”
Tuesday’s snow came as temperatures plunged to near freezing in the morning and were only predicted to reach the low 40s in the afternoon, nearly 30 degrees colder than average.
The cold weather in the Rockies is part of an unusual May pattern that has produced below-average temperatures from Montana to North Florida.
May snow in Denver is not out of the ordinary. Measurable snow has fallen on May 10 or later there in seven of the past 15 years, tweeted Chris Bianchi, a meteorologist based in Denver.
But the longevity of the season and the amount of snow that has fallen have been unusual.
The May snow comes after the city’s 2nd snowiest March on record, when 34 inches fell. Denver has recorded 80.2 inches since September, which ranks among its top 20 snowiest seasons on record.
Including those first flakes in September, snow has fallen in the city in nine consecutive months.
2021 is off to an unusually white and wet start. Through Monday, Bianchi tweeted, Denver had received more total precipitation, accounting for melted snow and rain, than Chicago, San Francisco and Detroit.
“This is remarkable – since Denver is just shy of desert status,” he tweeted.
With Monday-Tuesday’s rain and snow, Denver’s 2021 precipitation has leaped to over eight inches, nearly double its average year-to-date total.
Snowfall totals through Tuesday morning were higher in the foothills west of Denver and in the high terrain west of Boulder, where up to 10 to 13 inches were reported and where winter storm warnings were in effect. Estes Park, Colo., reported 8.8 inches. To the north, Cheyenne, Wyo., which was also under a winter storm warning, reported six to eight inches.