Did the First Snow Have a Snow Day?


Luke Busot, Staff Writer/Editor

As everyone living in Colorado has noticed, the weather has been acting rather strange. Usually, we would have been experiencing snow for the past month or two, but there just isn’t any this year, which definitely raises some questions, like “what is going on here?” and “where is winter?”

A few weeks ago on November 1, 2021, there was a small sliver of hope for an end to this eternal fall, a light dusting of snow. But, as we saw, that snow only fell for an hour or two and quickly disappeared, just like our hopes for a change in the weather.

Now, you’re definitely wondering where winter is hiding, and the experts think that they have an answer. This answer is La Niña. According to Denver 9 News, La Niña is, “the meteorological domino effect that comes from cooler-than-average sea-surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean” (https://www.9news.com/article/weather/weather-colorado/no-snow-in-denver-what-does-that-mean-for-the-rest-of-the-winter/73-0c0a292a-49a2-4fb3-9ca0-9647f98918e8).

Now, what does this mean for us in Colorado? Denver 9 News says, “The ongoing La Niña typically means that southern Colorado typically gets a drier and warmer winter, and that can (but not always) overlap with Denver as well” (https://www.9news.com/article/weather/weather-colorado/no-snow-in-denver-what-does-that-mean-for-the-rest-of-the-winter/73-0c0a292a-49a2-4fb3-9ca0-9647f98918e8).

Even though the absence of the first snowfall seems totally out of the ordinary, there have been times when it came even later than now. Currently, the latest first snowfall in Colorado was recorded during the Dust Bowl on November 21, 1934. As this was written, this is the 3rd latest snowfall in Denver history and the 8th longest day streak without snow at 210 snowless days (https://www.denverpost.com/2021/11/15/denver-weather-snow-records-likely-to-fall/).

Experts also claim that a later snowfall hints to a mild winter. According to Denver 9 News, “Over the last 30 years’ worth of data (1990 to 2020), Denver’s averaged about 52 inches of snow each winter, but only about 42 inches in years without September or October snowfall” (https://www.9news.com/article/weather/weather-colorado/no-snow-in-denver-what-does-that-mean-for-the-rest-of-the-winter/73-0c0a292a-49a2-4fb3-9ca0-9647f98918e8).

To make a long story short, snow is coming eventually and we just need to give it time. Let’s just hope with a mild winter, winter comes to a mild spring, but that just might be wishful thinking.