Denver on verge of breaking longest streak of snow-free days

DENVER – Not only is Colorado’s statewide snowpack suffering from a dry fall season, but Denver is on the verge of breaking its all-time record for the longest period of time gone between measurable snowfall during the snowy seasons.

Monday marked the 63rd day without at least 0.1 inches of snowfall in Denver since several inches fell on Oct. 10.

That is already the fourth-longest period the city has gone without snow between the first snowfall of the season and the last snowfall of April, according to the National Weather Service.

The longest Denver went without snowfall came during a 69-day period between Nov. 26, 2002 and Feb. 2, 2003. There was a 68-day dry spell from 1905 into 1906, and a 67-day dry period that lasted from September 1962 and November 1962.

If it doesn’t snow by at least Dec. 19, Denver will set a new record, the NWS said.

That being said, the South Platte Basin actually has one of the higher snowpack percentages in Colorado. The basin, which includes much of the Front Range and northeastern Colorado, is currently at 78 percent of its normal snow water equivalent.

That’s below the Laramie and North Platte Basin, which sits at 85 percent of normal, but above the Yampa and White (71 percent); Upper Colorado Headwaters (61 percent); Arkansas (56 percent); Gunnison (39 percent); Upper Rio Grande (35 percent); and San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan (25 percent) basins.

Snowpack across the American West isn't much better.

Several Colorado ski areas have had to delay their opening days, and none are yet fully open, due to the lack of early-season snow. Aspen Skiing Co. is paying to feed its employees who cannot work yet because of the scant snowpack.

This NWS graphic shows the differences in Colorado’s snow cover this at this point this year compared to the same point last year.

Forecasts show there is a slight chance for snow in the mountains this weekend, and a very small chance of snow in Denver.

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