DENVER — With a significant snowstorm forecast for Tuesday, many Front Range residents are digging out parkas from the back of the closet, covering garden plants and trying to remember the last time they did this in September.
It's been awhile.
The average date of Denver's first snowfall is Oct. 18. Over the past 10 years, the earliest first snowfall happened in 2012, on Oct. 5. The average date of the first freeze is Oct. 7.
Historically, September snow isn't unusual in Denver.
According to the National Weather Service, Denver averages about 1 inch in the month of September, though that hasn't happened this century.
> Video above: Denver was once covered in snow on Labor Day weekend.
There was a trace in September 2014. The last measurable snow was 0.2 inches on Sept. 24, 2000.
In the 1990s, Denver got more than the average in five years: 5.4 inches in 1993, 1.4 inches in 1994, 7.4 inches in 1995, 4.7 inches in 1996, 3.1 inches in 1999.
The 10 biggest September snow totals on record for Denver:
- 1971: 17.2 inches
- 1936: 16.5 inches
- 1959: 12.9 inches
- 1895: 11.4 inches
- 1985: 8.7 inches
- 1995: 7.4 inches
- 1908: 6.5 inches
- 1961: 5.8 inches
- 1965: 5.5 inches
- 1993: 5.4 inches
Sept. 3, 1961, marked the earliest snowstorm in Denver's recorded history. On that day, 4.2 inches of snow dropped on the city, and nearly a foot fell in the western suburbs and foothills.
According to the NWS, the date of the earliest freeze in Denver is Sept. 8, 1962, when the temperature dropped to 33 degrees.
Denver isn't forecast to break that record on Tuesday, but it could come close. The low temperature is forecast for 35 degrees.
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