DENVER (KDVR) — It’s been an abnormally warm and dry fall season in the Mile High City, Denver International Airport has only recorded 4.5 inches of total snow. Normal snowfall for this time of year should be 12.5 inches.

Pinpoint Weather: Total snow in Denver (DIA) as of Nov. 10, 2022.

This is the second straight fall season with below-normal snowfall in Denver. The latest first measurable snowfall on record occurred on Dec. 10, 2021.

What’s driving this pattern? Why is Denver experiencing back-to-back dry fall seasons?

According to the Pinpoint Weather team, the simple answer is La Niña. It tends to generate abnormally warm and dry fall seasons in Denver.

What is La Niña?

La Niña refers to colder-than-normal water temperatures in the equatorial South Pacific. Right now, water temperatures in the 3.4 regions are running 1.1 degrees Celsius below normal.

This is the strongest November La Niña since 2010.

Pinpoint Weather: La Niña is currently the strongest since 2010.

La Niña influences the Polar Jet Stream. The jet stream is the storm track.

Pinpoint Weather: La Niña influences the Polar Jet Stream. The result is drier, warmer, windier Fall seasons.

The result is drier, warmer, windier fall seasons in Denver. Quite often, you find a northwest flow across Colorado’s northern mountains that frequently leaves Denver in a downslope wind. This means Denver often experiences only small, and sometimes late, fall snowfalls and lots of wind.