DENVER (KDVR) — Earlier this week, the Farmer’s Almanac released its 2022-23 winter outlook, saying this winter comes with a warning: “Get ready to shake, shiver, and shovel!”
But does our Pinpoint Weather Team agree with the outlook?
Meteorologist Chris Tomer said this winter will resemble the last two winters.
For the third straight winter, the North American pattern remains dominated by La Niña.
La Niña means colder than normal water temperatures in the south Pacific near the equator. This is called a “triple-dip La Niña” and it is rare. It occurs once every 20-22 years.
La Niña tends to position the wintertime jet stream across the northern tier of states. This favors the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and the northern tier of states for above normal snowfall and colder temperatures.
Here is what Tomer said he is forecasting:
- Normal snowfall in the central and northern mountains
- Below normal snowfall in the southern mountains. The drought will likely worsen there.
- In Denver, Tomer said he expects normal total snowfall of about 57 inches with windier than normal conditions. This is similar to the last two winters.
When it comes to timing, Tomer said to expect a warmer and drier than normal fall season across Colorado. The best snow arrives late. The exception might be the southern mountains where some fall season snowfall is possible before the atmospheric flow pivots. We might not see the perfect combination of cold and snow until mid-December, which could have a negative effect on Thanksgiving holiday skiing.
What did we see in 2020-2022 winters?
Denver finished the 2021-22 season with a total of 49.4 inches of snow, which was just below the average seasonal normal snowfall of 56.9 inches.
During the 2020-2021 season, Denver finished the season with 80.2 inches of snowfall. However, 27.1 inches of that total came during a March blizzard in 2021.
The first measurable snowfall of the 2020 winter season came on Sept. 8, which is tied for the second earliest snowfall on record. Denver saw an inch of snow that day.
On the flip side, Denver didn’t see measurable snowfall during the 2021 winter until Dec. 10, which is the latest first snowfall on record. Denver saw .3 inch of snow that day.
Average snowfall in Denver
Here’s a look the average snowfall for each month in Denver, according to the National Weather Service:
- January: 6.5 inches
- February: 7.8 inches
- March: 11.5 inches
- April: 8.8 inches
- May: 1.7 inches
- June: Trace
- July: 0 inches
- August: 0 inches
- September: 1 inch
- October: 4.1 inches
- November: 7.4 inches
- December: 8 inches
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