You read that headline right. The Mile High City of Denver, Colorado could be staring at a significant late season snowstorm Thursday through Saturday. There are big questions about the amount of snow along with the timing, but accumulating snow does appear likely, and it could make it one of the biggest late season snowstorms on record in Denver.
The snow would start on Thursday and continue into Friday and potentially early Saturday, with the highest accumulations likely at night on both Thursday and Friday night. The potential is there for 6″+ of snow in the city, with higher amounts in the higher elevation southern and western suburbs, but right now our best guess is in the 3-6″ range, with the possibility for more. Stay tuned for the latest forecast as more information comes in.
Air and soil temperatures, along with the strong May sun angle (melts snow on contact) are the three big questions that could hinder the amount of snow that Denver sees this week.
Here’s one model’s guess at the Thursday-Saturday snow. Notice the heavier snow amounts come very close to Denver, but ultimately remain mostly south and west of the city. This is one of the models least bullish on this week’s possible snow event.
The overall snow season, so far at least, has essentially been a ‘bust’ for Denver. The city averages 57.1″ of snow a year, yet it has only seen 21.8″ of snow so far this season, barely putting 2016-17 above 1888-89 as the least snowy year on record (21.3″). Denver’s latest snow on record came on June 12th, 1947.
For a broader view on the West and the cooler and wetter pattern, check out this article from colleague Mace Michaels.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi