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Denver was once covered in snow over Labor Day weekend

Record heat may be forecast for the Mile High City today, but 58 years ago, people were having a different (much colder) experience.

DENVER — With a record temperature of 99 degrees forecast for Labor Day, there's a good chance the day will be filled with pools, ice cream, maybe a cold drink or two — that kind of thing.

But things looked very, very different for folks living in Denver on Sept. 3, 1961 — the earliest snowfall on record in the city's history.

On that day, 4.2 inches of snow dropped on the city, and nearly a foot fell in the western suburbs and foothills. The snow broke tree limbs and covered the foliage on what would be a cold, wet Labor Day weekend.

Credit: Denver Public Library archives
Como, Colorado, Sept. 3, 1961. Como is about 76 miles southwest of Denver.

The temperature dropped to 33 degrees, a record for the date and coldest ever recorded so early in the season. 

Credit: KUSA

Fast forward 58 years and the Mile High City is looking at the complete opposite end of the weather spectrum: a forecast record high of 98 degrees.

FORECAST: Another record high forecast for today

Denver's most recent measurable September snowfall was Sept. 24, 2000, when about 0.2 inch fell.

On Sept. 12, 1989, just over 2 inches dumped on the city, making for messy roads for commuters. (The video below shows a 9NEWS segment on that snowfall.)

Fifteen years prior to that, on Sept. 12, 1974, nearly 2 inches of snow dusted the Mile High City. 

RELATED: Brace yourselves: Farmers’ Almanac predicts frigid, snowy winter in Colorado

Denver's first measurable snow is typically around mid-October, with an average date of Oct. 18, according to the National Weather Service.

Below is a list of the first measurable snows over the last 10 years:

  • Oct. 6, 2018
  • Oct. 9, 2017
  • Nov. 17, 2016
  • Nov. 5, 2015
  • Nov. 11, 2014
  • Oct. 18, 2013
  • Oct. 5, 2012
  • Oct. 25, 2011
  • Nov. 15, 2010
  • Oct. 21, 2009

And for those who have the whole "the-longer-until-it-snows-the-better" mindset, Denver's latest measurable snowfall date was Nov. 21, 1934 — so it's possible.

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