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April 2013 Was A Game Changer For Moisture On The Front Range

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Julie Geary of Brighton took this photo on April 15. She wrote: "This is a photo of the bike my Mom won at a movie theater in the late 40's early 50's. It now adorns the front of our porch. It's showing out beautiful snow today."

Julie Geary of Brighton took this photo on April 15. She wrote: “This is a photo of the bike my Mom won at a movie theater in the late 40’s early 50’s. It now adorns the front of our porch. It’s showing out beautiful snow today.”

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Written by Meteorologist Dave Aguilera

DENVER (CBS4) – After starting the month of April worried about high fire danger and the lack of winter moisture the month of April came through like gangbusters with moisture-packed snowstorms every week. Making the month the 3rd month in a row that was colder and much wetter than normal.

The weekly storms began with a cold blast on April 8. Delivering 6.6 inches of snow at Denver International Airport. (Where official records for Denver are kept). Some isolated areas picked up 6 to 13 inches of snow in and around the metro area. Almost all of which was on the grassy areas. Because the pavement and sidewalks were so warm because of the unseasonably warm days leading up to the storm.

Then a week later, another rain and snow combo blew into Northern Colorado. This storm had a double threat for heavy snow with it. A strong over head Jet Stream lifting air over the state at altitude and a cold front oozing in and back against the Rockies. This combination creates what is called “banding of the snowfall” and can lead to heavy amounts of snow.  This storm system dropped a foot or more in some of the mountains and foothills of the Front Range. With Denver officially, measuring 7 inches of snow on the 15th. There was another small 2 inch snowfall a couple of days later.

Then, the week after that on the 22nd, you guessed it … another snow storm and more snow for the Front Range. This one again had heavy amounts of snow in and near the foothills with 4.7 inches of snow officially for Denver.

In addition to snow, these storms also came through with some rainfall as well. Total precipitation for the month of April measured in at 1.87 inches. That’s 0.16 inches above normal or average. That’s some good water. The record is still a long way away though with 8.24 inches recorded in 1900.

On the temperature side April 2013 had 3 record lows on April 9th, 6th, and 21st. One record low as tied on the 22nd. And 1 record low maximum: meaning the coldest the high had ever been happened on the 9th.

Dave Aguilera reports from the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab on a snowy May 1, 2013. (credit: CBS)

Dave Aguilera reports from the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab on a snowy May 1, 2013. (credit: CBS)

In all Denver had 20.4 inches of snow in April. Not a record amount but, just shy of making the Top 10.

Here is the top ten list for snow in April.

33.8  1933
32.0  1885
28.3  1920
28.2  1945
25.5  1957
25.4  1909
25.0  1907
24.8  1973
23.3  1935
21.0  1922

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