DENVER (KDVR) — Depending on who you ask, the start of September means the start of fall. But in Colorado, winter’s most notorious export — snow — doesn’t always respect the seasons.
If you’re hoping for a winter wonderland in the fall — or even a potential delay or day off of school — there’s no guarantee that you’ll find what you’re looking for in September.
On average, Denver sees its first snow around Oct. 18, but it definitely has snowed in the first month of fall.
Chances of snow in September
Since records began in 1882, it has snowed in September 46 times. In 18 of those years, it was only a trace amount or less than 0.1 inches.
That’s just under 33% of years with snow in September, meaning that there’s around a 66% chance that it won’t snow in September and an 80% chance that it won’t snow more than 0.1 inches.
The earliest first snowfall happened on Sept. 3, 1961, when 4.2 inches was reported.
The most recent time it snowed in September was a pretty unique case — in 2020, the start of the month saw the high temperature reach a daily record of 101 degrees on Sept. 5 before the weather abruptly changed.
By Sept. 8, Denver had a new record for the earliest first freeze and at least an inch of snow on the ground.
However the next year, in 2021, Denver recorded its latest-ever first snow on Dec. 10.
And, in 2022, Denver saw its first snow on Nov. 4. Essentially, with how unpredictable the weather is, there’s no guarantee of an exact date ahead of time.