Snow Close: Snow-Cover Record Unbroken

Streak Ends At 61 Days

At 6 a.m. Tuesday, observers at Denver's official snow measurement site near the old Stapleton airport measured a trace of snow cover on the ground.

While that's good news for those who are cheering the warm days and clearing roads, that's bad news for those who wanted Denver to beat the all-time snow cover record.

A trace of snow falls below the 1-inch criteria for snow cover, and that ends Denver's streak of consecutive days with snow on the ground. Denver was just three days shy of setting a new all-time record.

Denver recorded snow on the ground from Dec. 21, 2006 through Feb. 19, 2007.

The long stretch of snow cover prompted several 7NEWS viewers to write with some very good questions. We thought we would share some of these below:

Where is the Denver snow measurement made?

Although the official weather measurements for Denver are made at the Denver International Airport, official snow observations for the city are still made at the old Stapleton Airport.

Is the snow depth reported every hour?

No, snow depth is measured once each day, at the morning observation. This usually happens at 6 or 7 a.m. at most U.S. weather stations.

Is it measured in the shade or sunlight?

The snow measurement is made in an open area free from obstructions like trees, buildings, and powerlines.

Do the observers account for areas that have melted?

Yes, the snow cover observation is a spatial average. Observers take anywhere from 5 to 10 measurements, add those together and divide by the number of measurments to get an average. Areas around the observation site with no snow cover are listed as zero when computing the average.

What do you mean by snow depth?.storyAd{display:none;}

Snow depth is the amount of snow on the ground, both new and old snow. You must have at least one inch of snow on the ground to report it. Snow depth is measured to the nearest half inch.

Why is the snow depth for this streak of days with consecutive snow cover being reported from Dec. 21 -- it started snowing on Dec. 20 -- and many places had at least a foot of snow by midnight on Dec. 20?

The snow observation is made once a day, during the morning observation. At the observation time on Dec. 20, there was only a trace of snow reported on the ground. But by the observation time on Dec. 21, there was officially 21 inches of snow on the ground in Denver.

So how long will we need to keep at least one inch of snow on the ground at Denver's observaton site to break the previous record of 1983-1984?

February 22 would be day 64, setting a new all-time record for consecutive days with snow cover in Denver.

Click here to see a daily listing of Denver's snow depth since the twin holiday blizzards.

The following list shows the 10 longest streaks with consecutive days of snow cover in Denver, and where the current season ranks.

  • 63 days -- Nov. 26, 1983 -- Jan. 27, 1984
  • 61 days -- Dec. 21, 2006 -- Feb. 19, 2007
  • 60 days -- Dec. 1, 1913 -- Jan. 29, 1914
  • 48 days -- Dec. 24, 1982 -- Feb. 9, 1983
  • 43 days -- Dec. 19, 1973 -- Jan. 30, 1974
  • 39 days -- Nov. 21, 1992 -- Dec. 29, 1992
  • 38 days -- Dec. 24, 1987 -- Jan. 30, 1988
  • 35 days -- Jan. 2, 1949 -- Feb. 5, 1949
  • 33 days -- Dec. 17, 1918 -- Jan. 18, 1919
  • 27 days -- Jan. 28, 1989 -- Feb. 23, 1989

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