DENVER (CBS4) – It’s not something many people can brag about, measuring nearly 500 inches of snow.
For one weather observer just north of Crested Butte, measuring snow is a part of life, and during some years, it’s a daily chore.
Here’s a list of snow for the 2013-2014 season at this particular weather station…
September – 7 inches
October – 35 inches
November – 52 inches
December – 47.5 inches
January – 61.5 inches
February – 101 inches
March – 71 inches
April – 47.5 inches
May (through the 15th) – 35 inches
As if that isn’t enough to comprehend, check out these facts…
We can get a good idea of how much snow has fallen around Colorado thanks to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS.
Their network of weather observers includes over 1,000 people who report daily precipitation. The following is a list of totals from CoCoRaHS.
TOP 10 TOTALS IN COLORADO
6.2 miles N of Crested Butte (Gunnison County) – 457.5 inches
16.3 miles WSW of Walden (Jackson County) – 324.6 inches
2.1 miles WSW of Silverthorne (Summit County) – 298.2 inches
1.9 miles E of Steamboat Springs (Routt County) – 258.5 inches
3.3 miles SE of Breckenridge (Summit County) – 258.2 inches
10.9 miles NW of Kremmling (Grand County) – 256.0 inches
7.8 miles ESE of Glenwood Springs (Garfield County) – 217.1 inches
1 mile SE of Steamboat Springs (Routt County) – 213.4 inches
0.9 miles NNE of Breckenridge (Summit County) – 208.8 inches
1.7 miles WNW of Oak Creek (Routt County) – 205.2 inches
It should come as no surprise that the stations with the highest snow totals in Colorado are all along, and west, of the Continental Divide.
This is where the prevailing westerly wind patterns produce some of the wettest conditions in our state, thanks to “upslope” winds that create pockets of heavy, consistent moisture.
HEAVY SNOW DOES FALL EAST OF THE DIVIDE
Heavy snow can, and does, fall in locations east of the Continental Divide, but it’s typically less than locations on the west side.
This is because much of the moisture is “squeezed” out by the mountains on the west side, kind of like water being squeezed out of a sponge.
From time to time, we do see weather patterns that create “upslope” winds for locations on the east side of the divide, and during these set-ups, some places can measure snow in feet.
TOP 10 TOTALS EAST OF THE DIVIDE
4.6 miles NE of Ward (Boulder County) – 175.6 inches
4.7 miles SSE of Idaho Springs (Clear Creek County) – 173.6 inches
12.5 miles NW of Golden (Jefferson County) – 163.7 inches
6.5 miles WSW of Evergreen (Clear Creek County) – 136.0 inches
2.6 miles NNE of Nederland (Boulder County) – 133.3 inches
2.5 miles SSE of Kittredge (Jefferson County) – 132.5 inches
2.3 miles ESE of Rollinsville (Gilpin County) – 131.9 inches
0.4 miles WNW of Nederland (Boulder County) – 130.0 inches
5.9 miles NE of Red Feather (Larimer County) – 129.8 inches
4.2 miles ENE of Conifer (Jefferson County) – 129.6 inches
SNOW IN DENVER
Officially, in the city of Denver, there has been 38.4 inches of snow this season. The official reading is taken at Denver International Airport.
The average seasonal snowfall is 57.5 inches.
But the Denver metro area has a high variability of snow, largely due to elevation, which varies by several hundred feet over a relatively short distance.
Downtown Denver can be compared to a bowl, with the terrain rising in elevation in just about every direction, except when traveling northeast, along the South Platte River Valley.
TOP METRO AREA TOTALS
2.1 miles SW of Golden (Jefferson County) – 123.7 inches
2.2 miles NNE of Castle Pines (Douglas County) – 94.3 inches
1.6 miles S of Boulder (Boulder County) – 88.0 inches
2.7 miles SSE of Highlands Ranch (Douglas County) – 84.9 inches
1.7 miles SW of Lakewood (Jefferson County) – 68.7 inches
1.7 miles WSW of Broomfield (Broomfield County) – 67.5 inches
2.8 miles WSW of Wheat Ridge (Jefferson County) – 67.0 inches
2.3 miles WNW of Lafayette (Boulder County) – 63.7 inches
2.0 miles SW of Centennial (Arapahoe County) – 72.5 inches
7.3 miles SE of Aurora (Arapahoe County) – 70.9 inches
2.1 miles WNW of Parker (Douglas County) – 69.4 inches
2.0 miles ENE of Littleton (Arapahoe County) – 63.8 inches
0.6 miles WSW of Ken Caryl (Jefferson County) – 59.0 inches
1.9 miles N of Cherry Creek Reservoir (Denver County) – 58.1 inches
2.6 miles W of Arvada (Jefferson County) – 56.0 inches
6.3 miles SSE of Denver (Arapahoe County) – 55.5 inches
0.4 miles WSW of Northglenn (Adams County) – 60.3 inches
2.1 miles N of Thornton (Adams County) – 49.6 inches
4.5 miles NW of Aurora (Adams County) – 47.9 inches
1.6 miles ESE of Westminster (Adams County) – 47.1 inches
2.1 miles N of Cherry Hills Village (Denver County) – 41.2 inches
7.7 miles ENE of Brighton (Adams County) – 36.7 inches
Denver Botanic Gardens (Denver County) – 28.1 inches
BECOME AN OBSERVER
If tracking rain and snow interests you, the CoCoRaHS organization would love your help.