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May Snows In Denver Are More Common Than One Might Think

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(credit: Jake Padilla)

(credit: Jake Padilla)

Chris Spears By Chris Spears
CBS4 Meteorologist
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DENVER (CBS4) – A chilly, wet storm system is taking shape for the weekend, and the way it looks right now, it threatens to bring snow to Denver.

Believe it or not, flakes are common during the month of May, and sometimes, even after Mother’s Day! In fact, between 1882 and 2013, there are only 41 years without snow.

Denver has measured at least a trace of snow during May for 7 of the past 10 years. The average May snowfall is 1.7 inches.

Sometimes, the snow can be quite heavy, breaking newly leafed-out trees and taking a toll on freshly planted gardens.

Here is a list of some of the more memorable May snowfalls in Denver…

  • May 31, 1917 – Trace

 

  • May 30-31, 1983 – a cold rain well in the city with 1-5 inches of snow in the foothills and some wet flakes in the western Denver suburbs

 

  • May 29, 1975 – 5.6 inches

 

  • May 25-26, 1950 – 10.7 inches

 

  • May 23-24, 2002 – 0.7 inches

 

  • May 20-21, 1891 – 1.0 inch

 

  • May 18-20, 1915 – 3.9 inches, but the weather observer estimated that an additional 6.2 inches melted as it fell

 

  • May 16-17, 1983 – 7.1 inches with 1 to 2 feet higher in elevation caused 20 square miles of the Denver area to lose power

 

  • May 15-16, 1957 – 8.8 inches

 

  • May 13-14, 1912 – 12.4 inches

 

  • May 12-13, 1961 – 6.4 inches

 

  • May 10-11, 1918 – 4.7 inches

 

  • May 8-10, 1979 – 4.3 inches

 

  • May 9-10, 2003 – 7.0 inches

 

  • May 6-7, 1873 – 8.9 inches

 

  • May 5-6, 1917 – 12.5 inches

 

  • May 5-6, 1978 – 14 inches with up to 24 inches in Boulder where an office and hotel collapsed

 

  • May 1-5, 1898 – 15.5 inches

 

  • May 2-5, 2001 – 6.2 inches

 

  • May 3-5, 1908 – 10.0 inches

 

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