Denver weather: Why October 18 is a big day for snow lovers

It’s a big day in Denver weather history, especially for snow lovers. October 18 marks the date of the average first snowfall in the Mile High City. Since today marks the typical “kickoff” for the snow season in the metro area, it seems like an appropriate time to refresh our memories on what a typical winter season delivers.

In an average season, Denver records 57.1 inches of snow, distributed across nine months from September through May. While the coldest air winter has to offer is centered on December, January and February, the snowiest months for the metro hold off until March and April, when an average of 11 inches and 9 inches fall respectively.

Last winter, Denver officially ended the season with 57.6 inches of snow. It was the first winter with an above-average snowfall total since the 2015-2016 season when 72.8 inches were tallied.

While it may seem like a distant memory, this year Denver has already recorded its first measurable snow, when one inch fell on Sept. 8. It was nearly six weeks ahead of normal and tied for the second earliest snowfall on record. The earliest measurable snow came on September 3, 1961, when over four inches blanketed the city. The latest in an autumn that Denver has gone without seeing snow was back in 1934 when it took until Nov. 21 for the first flakes to fly.

Since our early September snowfall, no additional flakes have fallen in the city. Given that there are no opportunities for snow in Colorado over the next week, Denver is well on its way for an October snow total that falls well below the monthly normal of 4.2 inches. This is bad news for snow lovers and ski resorts.

The good news for snow lovers is that some signals are pointing at a pattern change for Colorado during the final week of October. This is the only hope for making up ground in the snow department this month.

Ben Reppert is a meteorologist with WeatherNation TV.

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