DENVER — It's November, and it still hasn't snowed in Denver.
That's highly unusual.
As of Friday, no measurable snowfall had fallen in Denver so far this winter. We're well beyond the city's average first measurable snowfall date of Oct. 18. Since 1948, only 13 winters have featured no measurable snowfall in either September or October in Denver.
So what does that mean for the rest of the winter? Well, there appears to be at least a slight statistical trend in Denver between a snowless September and October and a less snowy rest of the winter as well.
Based on data from Denver's Central Park weather observation site dating back to the late 1940s, Denver has averaged about 58 inches of snow each winter. But when there's no snow in September or October, that number shrinks to just 50.5 inches.
For reference, September and October average a combined 5 inches (approximately) of snow each winter, so if you take out the two months, the rest of the winter also averages less snowfall as a whole.
That trend, though, appears to have become more pronounced in recent years. Over the last 30 years' worth of data (1990 to 2020), Denver's averaged about 52 inches of snow each winter, but only about 42 inches in years without September or October snowfall.
That's likely due to La Niña, the meteorological domino effect that comes from cooler-than-average sea-surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean. The ongoing La Niña typically means that southern Colorado typically gets a drier and warmer winter, and that can (but not always) overlap with Denver as well.
On a shorter-term basis, there's little to no snow on the horizon for the Denver area. While it'll cool down for the early-to-mid part of next week, it'll lead to mainly mountain snow showers with little to no chance for any measurable snow in Denver or along the urban corridor.
Another system for the middle to end of next week also may bring snow to the mountains, but once again, it looks like it'll either stay dry or bring a few rain showers to Denver.
Long story short: We're likely going to make a run at the latest first measurable snowfall on record in Denver--Nov. 21, 1934.
And if history tells us anything, it's that it usually means we're looking at a lighter rest of the winter's worth of snowfall as well.
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