Denver Without Snow in December: It's 'Unheard Of'

City could log 2nd-longest period without snow within days
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2021 7:55 AM CST
Denver Without Snow in December: It's 'Unheard Of'
The sky is illuminated as the sun sets behind the Rocky Mountains after daytime high temperatures were notched above the 60-degree mark Tuesday, in Denver.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – Never in recorded history has Denver entered December without logging some snowfall—until now. The city, which has yet to receive its first measurable snow (more than a tenth of an inch) of the 2021 winter season, has blown past its previous record for the latest first snowfall set on Nov. 21, 1934, per ABC News. "Waiting until December for the first snow is unheard of in Denver," as the Denver Post puts it. Though there's a chance of snow this weekend or early next week, it's also possible the city could challenge a 134-year-old record for the longest snowless streak. There were 235 consecutive snowless days in 1887. If no snow falls Wednesday, it will mark 224 snowless days since April 21, 2021. That's enough to tie an 1889 record as the third-longest period Denver has been without snow.

"With no snow expected for the next several days, a move up to second place is certainly possible by next weekend," the National Weather Service said Monday. The second-longest snowless streak is a 227-day stretch in 1888, per the Post. The dry weather expected to last through the week is common in the Mile High City on the downslope of the Rocky Mountains, as weather systems typically drop precipitation higher in the mountains and remaining moisture quickly evaporates, per ABC. But drought in the western US is also playing a role. About 40% of Colorado and 100% of Denver County is in severe drought. Denver has received no more than 25% of its normal precipitation in the last 30 days, raising concerns about the risk of wildfires. (Read more Denver stories.)

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