Denver weather: “No snow November” continues into December, more records in jeopardy

Denver typically sees its first flakes of the season fall in mid-October. Through the end of November, Denver should pick up, on average, 12.5 inches of snow. Neither of those things has happened this year, and nothing is in the near-term forecast to change things up.

It’s the weather stat that has everyone talking. Denver has not seen any measurable snow this season and is breaking records for the latest first snow and for its streak of consecutive days without measurable snow. Weather records, no matter how arbitrary you think they may be, are kept so we have a reference for anomalous events.

Well, this snow season is certainly shaping up to be anomalous.

Denver already has broken the record for the latest first snow on record. The old record, which stood for more than 85 years, was broken on Nov. 21. The top 10 records for the latest first snows all occurred within a week of each other (they occurred between Nov. 14-21). This year’s new record already has eclipsed the latest date by more than a week and there is no snow in sight, further impressing weather and climate folk with its rarity.

Waiting until December for the first snow is unheard of in Denver. It has literally never happened before, but that’s likely what will happen this year. There have been nine Novembers during which a trace of snow or less has been reported in total, like this year, but that rareness of no snow occurring in December rises fast.

Another lack-of-snow record is approaching in Denver. The longest streak without measurable snow in the city. The record longest snowless streak in Denver is 235 days back in 1887 which occurred between March 5 and Oct. 25. The last time we had measurable snow in Denver was back on April 22 — 223 days ago.

235 days: March 5-Oct. 25, 1887
227 days: March 27-Nov. 8, 1888
224 days: March 23-Nov. 2, 1889
223 days: April 22-???, 2021 
219 days: April 5-Nov. 9, 1886

As you can see, we are in rare company on this top 5 list. The most recent years when we went more than 219 days without measurable snow in Denver all occurred in the mid-to-late 1880s.


The forecast does not look great concerning snow in Denver, or in Colorado for that matter.

This entire workweek will feature zero snow across the entire state. That is concerning in itself since we need snowpack numbers to rise.

A stubborn ridge of high pressure, which is eerily similar to the setup we saw this past summer, has set up and won’t budge through the week. That means warm, dry and breezy conditions are expected. High temperatures on the Eastern Plains could near record levels a couple of times this week.

The next chance for snow moves into the state this coming weekend as a few, minor snow showers may develop. A larger change in the pattern may come early next week as a few models are showing a nice mountain snowstorm moving in with the possibility of snow in Denver around that same time.

If we make it through this week and the upcoming weekend without measurable snow in Denver, we will have gone 229 days without snow securing the second spot for snowless streaks.

About a week ago, models were showing that snow could fall in Denver this week, but that chance quickly dissolved. The feasibility of next week’s chance of snow in Denver dissolving is absolutely a possibility, but we have to hold on to the chance because not only are we lacking snow, but we are lacking moisture in general.

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