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Photo by Jay Bouchard

October’s Not Done Yet! More Snow & Cold Is Coming

With about a half foot of snow on the ground in parts of Denver, the city is now bracing for another round of winter weather, which could rival records for the month.

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Over a half foot of snow fell from our first storm of the week, between Sunday morning and Monday morning, in and around Denver. Some areas around the foothills saw more than 8 inches of snow. This made for a very tricky and slippery morning commute, but the Colorado Department of Transportation was out in force on Sunday night, treating the roads as best they could.

As the week rolls along, we will see yet another blast of cold and snow for the area—one that’s even stronger, with colder temperatures and even more snow. Our main areas of concern are the record-cold temperatures and the amount of snow that will fall. Here’s what you can expect:

It’s cold out there!
Denver dropped below freezing just before midnight on October 26, and we’ve remained there ever since. According to the models, we’re not expected to get above freezing until Thursday afternoon. That means we are expected to be on a streak of below-freezing temperatures for more than 100 hours.

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Over the next few days, several temperature records may be broken. The most notable is October’s all-time monthly low temperature, which currently sits at -2 degrees—recorded on October 29, 1917. The National Weather Service is forecasting a low of 0 degrees for Thursday morning, but with so much snow on the ground and additional cooling possible, it’s possible that we could break this previous record.

Are we getting more snow than usual for October?
As of Monday morning, Denver International Airport, where Denver’s official weather records are kept, has recorded 4.8 inches of snow in October. For anyone who lives just about anywhere other than around DIA, it has snowed closer to 10 to 15 inches, if not more, this month. For example, at the now-retired Stapleton airport, 11.4 inches of snow have been recorded so far this month, which is a better representation of metro Denver’s actual snow accumulation.

With this much snow, we are unofficially experiencing the snowiest October since 1997, when we totaled 22.1 inches for the month. And with more snow coming this week, we could end up above that amount, which illustrates how rare this is for Denver.

How much more snow is coming?
The system that impacted us Sunday and Monday was a shortwave trough, which has decent moisture and energy. There is another shortwave that will move through Tuesday into Wednesday, and that one is supposed to be even colder, with more moisture and energy. All that adds up to a snowier and colder storm.

On Monday, the NWS issued a Winter Storm Warning for the upcoming storm, forecasting 8 to 12 inches of new snow, though most of Denver is going to be in the 6- to 12-inch range with higher amounts possible.

According to the current modeling, snow will begin falling across the Denver metro area Tuesday morning and last through Wednesday afternoon. The snow will be the heaviest Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, and we’ll finally see clear skies and a slight warm-up through the weekend. However, it’s expected to stay chilly for the first full week of November, so the snow may not go anywhere fast.

This will be an impactful few days for Denver, and it’s important to be prepared. Stow an emergency snow kit in your car just in case. Try to limit travel on the roads as much as possible and take it slow if you need to venture out. The best thing to do in these situations is to be calm, don’t rush, and plan for extra time in your commute. And with temperatures this low, please stay warm and don’t forget that if it’s cold to you, it’s likely cold to your pets, as well. Bring them inside to keep them safe.

Winter in Colorado

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