Colorado weather: Snow deficits continue to grow statewide

Many Denver area residents are probably under the impression that the winter has not been very snowy so far. There is certainly truth to that, but it is only recently that snowfall in the metro area has started stumbling.

Seasonal snowfall in Denver was running very close to average until the second half of December. This was largely due to several early-season storms from September through November. By Jan. 1, Denver had tallied 17 inches of snow for the season, which was just shy of the normal value of 19 inches at that point.

Snow has been hard to come by in the Mile High City since then. Only 3 inches have fallen at the Denver International Airport in these early days of 2021. This has allowed Denver’s current snow deficit to grow to around 7 inches, based on the official measurements taken at DIA.

The downtown snow deficit is even larger. The Stapleton Airport site has measured 19 inches so far this season, when over 31 inches would usually be tallied through early February.

As you move closer to the mountains, the snow has been even more sparse compared to normal. Wheat Ridge is up to 27 inches for the season, but a typical amount by now would be close to 44 inches. Boulder’s season total to date of 37 inches is also nearly a foot below average.

Many mountain towns have also seen a lackluster winter by the numbers. Steamboat Springs has only picked up about 7 feet of snow, when they would normally be closer to 10 feet. By early February, Breckenridge and Telluride normally would see about 8 feet of snow. Old man winter has delivered just 4 to 6 feet of snow for these locations thus far.

A few Colorado cities are doing better in the snow department. Colorado Springs and Grand Junction are right on track for early February, where over 19 inches and 11 inches of snow have fallen, respectively. Pueblo recently surpassed the 20-inch threshold, which is actually above normal.

As spring approaches, storminess in the Rocky Mountains and High Plains starts to become more frequent. That is why March is typically the snowiest month of the year in much of Colorado. While a snow deficit continues to grow over much of the Centennial State, the period from February through April can very quickly wipe it out.

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