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Denver could see above-average snowfall in December

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DENVER — Colorado could see a snowier than average December, according to the Climate Prediction Center.

On average, the city of Denver sees about 8.1 inches of snow for the month of December. December isn’t considered an incredibly snowy month in Colorado; then again, neither is November.

But last week, when the Front Range got socked with a massive snowstorm, it boosted Denver’s November snowfall to 13.7 inches. The average for the month is 7.5 inches.

“Typically, the snowier months are late winter, earlier spring when you have more moisture availability from the Gulf of Mexico,” said Brad Pugh, a meteorologist for the Climate Prediction Center.

That said, the latest model indications are showing more upper-level ridging high pressure near the west coast, which would mean a relatively inactive first half of the month.

“So that may be a drier patter for the western U.S. as a whole, at least for the next two weeks,” said Pugh.

While we might not see much snow during the first half of December, there is a possibility the back half of the month could be active.

“There are indications that precipitation could be slightly more than normal across Colorado in the latter half of the month,” Pugh said.

That alone could favor an above-average snowfall.

While the average snowfall for the month of December in Denver is 8.1 inches, there have been nasty blizzards in the past.

  • In 2006, Denver got nailed with 29.4 inches of snow.
  • In 1973, a storm dumped 30.8 inches on the city.
  • In 1913, Denver experienced its largest December snowstorm ever recorded: 57.4 inches of snow.

While predicting the weather is never easy and patterns tend to change quickly sometimes, the Climate Prediction Center does believe Colorado will experience warmer than average temperatures during the months of December, January and February.

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