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Denver's first snow of the season likely won't arrive until December, NWS says

Denver on Nov. 21 2021_Eric English
Posted at 11:34 AM, Nov 22, 2021

Denver has a snowball's chance in hell of seeing any sort of actual snow before the start of December.

For weeks, meteorologists (and folks just interested in records and weather) have been comparing the date to the list of latest first snows recorded in Denver. Something between excitement and frustration snowballed up to Sunday, Nov. 21 — the date of the latest first snow, set in 1934.

And Denver's weather Sunday? It obliterated that record. Denver was a balmy 57 degrees under clear blue sky. Not a flake in sight.

On Monday, the National Weather Service said the city won't likely see any measurable snow until December.

Over the past 129 years, Denver has averaged 1 inch of snow in September, 4.1 inches in October and 7.4 inches in November. By the end of November last year, Denver had already measured 10 inches of snow. In 2019, Denver saw 26.2 inches of snow by the end of November.

For context, this isn't the first extra dry start to the snow season in past years. In 2017, Denver saw just 2.8 inches of snow in October and a trace in November. The year before, the city got no snow in October and just 1.7 inches in November. Both of those winters saw snowfall levels more than 30 inches below normal for the season.

So, let's take a look at what we have in store for the rest of this November.

Highs will stay warm at least through the middle of next week. As of now, it appears that the coolest day will be this Wednesday, Nov. 24, with temperatures in the mid 40s by the afternoon. Lows will reach freezing or below this whole week.

Sunshine and 60s in Denver to kick off the week

The mountains, meanwhile, will see light snow late Tuesday into Wednesday. That system has a very slight chance of bringing flurries to the Denver area, but it does not look promising. At least one-tenth of an inch of snow needs to fall for it to be considered measurable snowfall.

After Wednesday's front moves through, a dry period will cover the state and will hang around into the weekend.

If you need a little snow positivity in your day, here are some numbers to reflect on:

  • The date of the earliest first snow in the past 10 years in Denver is Sept. 8, 2020
  • The date of the largest daily snowfall in Denver is Dec. 24, 1982, when 23.6 inches fell
  • Denver's largest snowstorm on record (since 1882) happened Dec. 1-5, 1913 when 45.7 inches fell
  • The largest seasonal snowfall to hit Denver was 1908-1909, when 118.7 inches of snow fell on the city (for context, Denver sees 56.5 inches of snow on average each season)