COLORADO SNOW FORECAST 2022-23: Snow Outlook: Rare Triple Dip La Nina Will Dominate Winter

DENVER (KDVR) – Earlier this week, the Farmer’s Almanac released its 2022-23 winter outlook, saying this winter comes with a warning: “Prepare to shake, shiver and shovel!”

But does our Pinpoint Weather team agree with the outlook?

Meteorologist Chris Tomer said this winter will be like the last two winters.

For the third consecutive winter, the North American pattern remains dominated by La Niña.

La Niña means cooler than normal water temperatures in the South Pacific near the equator. This is called a “La Niña triple dip” and it is rare. It occurs once every 20-22 years.

La Niña tends to position the winter jet stream in the northern part of the states. This favors the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia and the northern part of the states for above normal snowfall and colder temperatures.

Provide

Here’s what Tomer said he’s planning:

  • Normal snowfall in central and northern mountains
  • Below normal snowfall in the southern mountains. The drought is likely to worsen there.
  • In Denver, Tomer said he expects normal snowfall totals of around 57 inches with windier-than-normal conditions. This is similar to the last two winters.

Hourly

As for the timing, Tomer said to expect a warmer and drier than normal fall season across Colorado. The best snow comes late. The exception might be the southern mountains where fall snowfall is possible before the atmospheric flow pivots. We may not see the perfect combination of cold and snow until mid-December, which could have a negative effect on Thanksgiving holiday skiing.

What did we see during the winters of 2020-2022?

Denver ended the 2021-22 season with a total of 49.4 inches of snowfall, which was just below the normal seasonal snowfall average of 56.9 inches.

During the 2020-21 season, Denver finished the season with 80.2 inches of snow. However, 27.1 inches of that total came during a March blizzard in 2021.

The first measurable snowfall of the 2020 winter season occurred on September 8, which tied for the second-earliest snowfall on record. Denver saw an inch of snow that day.

On the other hand, Denver did not see any measurable snowfall during the winter of 2021 until December 10, which is the last first snowfall on record. Denver saw 0.3 inches of snow that day.

Average snowfall in Denver

Here’s a look at average snowfall for each month in Denver, according to the National Weather Service:

  • January: 6.5 inches
  • February: 7.8 inches
  • March: 11.5 inches
  • April: 8.8 inches
  • May: 1.7 inches
  • June: Trace
  • July: 0 inches
  • August: 0 inches
  • September: 1 inch
  • October: 4.1 inches
  • November: 7.4 inches
  • December: 8 inch

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